The Government sends the Housing Law to Congress

One year after the government partners officially began the negotiation of the draft Law for the Right to Housing, the Council of Ministers approved the text this Tuesday in the second round and sent it to Congress for begin its processing as a bill, which is expected to be long and complicated as it still does not have sufficient support for its validation.

The rule has been approved, in the words of Podemos, “without changing a comma” of the initial text to which the Council of Ministers gave the ‘green light’ last October, after receiving last week the unfavorable, but non-binding, report from the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ), with a particular vote of five members of the progressive sector.

“We celebrate being able to announce that the Council of Ministers has agreed to the immediate referral of this bill for the Right to Housing, a norm eagerly awaited by citizens because it will guarantee access to proper and adequate housing. For this reason , We have requested urgent processing“, the Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, Raquel Sánchez, pointed out at a press conference, who in turn has maintained that the rule is “rigorous, solid, compact and transversal and that it shields the social function that housing has” .

Among other measures, the text penalizes empty homes, allows the autonomous communities to regulate the price of rents, prohibits the sale of residential public property and plans to increase the social housing stock, as well as for the courts to suspend evictions due to non-payment of rent by vulnerable families. Although it leaves part of its application in the hands of the municipalities and the autonomous communities.

The regulation of rents, one of the most controversial points and that arouse more rejection in the real estate sector, contemplates the limitation of income for legal entities (companies and institutions) that own more than ten homes in the areas that the regional governments declare stressed, based on a price index that will be elaborated within a period of 18 months from the entry into force of the law. Private landlords and companies that own less than ten homes may raise the rent in new contracts by up to 10%, if in the previous two years the home has undergone rehabilitation or energy improvement and accessibility works.

The process in Congress seems complicated

Once approved in the Council of Ministers in the second round, the rule goes to Congress as a bill and anticipates a long and complicated parliamentary process. In addition to the fact that the government partners still do not have sufficient support, the final approval is not expected until the second half of this year, according to the calendar sent to Brussels.

All this, in turn, taking into account that some autonomous communities – those governed by the PP – have announced that they will not apply it and have threatened to resort to the Constitutional Court for “interfering” with freedom and private property.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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