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Grassroots groups call for demonstration against rising costs of housing

Protest to take place in Barcelona on Saturday to denounce "worsening situation" with frozen salaries

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19 May 2022 04:48 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

Several grassroots groups have called for a demonstration on Saturday against rises in the cost of housing. Several platforms, such as People Affected by Mortgages (PAH), have organized the protest against the "worsening situation" people face after the pandemic and amid skyrocketing inflation

The demonstration will start at 6pm in Barcelona’s Universitat square to denounce that salaries are still frozen, making the situation worse for a lot of people. 

"We take to the streets to urge a law that guarantees the right to a home, to stop evictions, and forces owners with several houses to offer affordable rent prices," Lucía Delgado, PAH’s spokesperson, said during the press conference. 

The protest will be led by several groups under the slogan: "With these prices, we cannot live!" Residents have to use a bigger portion of their salary to pay rent, activists claim. "Families use 40% of their income to pay rent," Guillem Aragonès, member of the tenants’ union, Sindicat de Llogateres, told media outlets on Thursday.

During the press conference, grassroots groups called for the Catalan and Spanish governments to safeguard and enforce the housing law. The law was greenlighted by the Spanish cabinet in March and controls several characteristics of the housing market in the country.

"The law is an opportunity that we need to take advantage of in order to start sharing what belongs to all of us. We know that what we demand can be achieved," Aragonès said.

Stronger stance on rent cap law

The Catalan government had a rent cap law which the Spanish Constitutional Court annulled the vast majority of it on March 10

The Court considered that the legislation went beyond the scope of what the Catalan government’s powers should be.

However, at the time, the tenants’ union Sindicat de Llogateres pushed the executive and the Barcelona city council to take a stronger stance on the debate on a Spain-wide rent cap law. 

The entity urged Catalan authorities to fight for regulation that would see the Spanish government “at least” control rent prices the same way that a recently-stricken Catalan law did.

The bill targeted areas in which the housing market was considered to be in a "tense situation," affecting 60 cities and towns of more than 20,000 inhabitants, encompassing 70% of Catalonia’s population.

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  • An estate agent advertises properties for rent and sale in Catalonia (by Sílvia Junyent Dalmau)

  • An estate agent advertises properties for rent and sale in Catalonia (by Sílvia Junyent Dalmau)

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