Colau demands more power for cities to fight housing speculation
Barcelona mayor meets London counterpart Sadiq Khan to discuss housing crisis
Barcelona mayor Ada Colau met with her London counterpart Sadiq Khan on Tuesday. Both mayors called for “more power” for cities in the fight against property speculation. In their meeting in the British capital, Khan confirmed his support for the “declaration of large cities” on housing being championed by the Barcelona mayor. Khan also expressed his “total support” for Barcelona’s recent policy of taking in migrants.
"We share a lot of things, and there's a struggle for affordable housing. It's the most important thing in Barcelona now," said Colau, speaking alongside Khan. "We have to work together, cities must unite and reclaim more power from the states," she added.
Both mayors also wrote a joint article in UK daily The Guardian. "For city leaders to be able to tackle this problem, they urgently need greater resources and powers both to increase their stocks of social-rented and other genuinely affordable housing and to strengthen tenants’ rights," they wrote.
Speaking to the press after the meeting, Colau also called on the Spanish government to share with cities the “hundreds of millions of euros” it receives to fund migration policies, because cities are the places where “people are arriving.” According to Colau, “there are European Union funds available that are not being used for what they were intended,” and she called on Pedro Sánchez’s executive to “recover the EU fund of 200 million euros that was cut out of the immigration law by the former PP government.”