Housing replaces tourism as Barcelona's main problem in city poll
Public concerns about accomodation in Catalan capital rises six points in council's annual survey
For the first time, public concerns about housing have replaced tourism as the main problem in Barcelona, according to the Municipal Services Survey for 2018.
Concerns about housing went up six points compared to last year's survey, while tourism dropped six points. Traffic, political aspects and security complete the city's top five problems in the survey.
Ten years ago, the financial crisis shook the foundations of Catalan society. Unemployment skyrocketed and economic growth plummeted. Only now are most indicators slowly returning to pre-crisis levels.
Housing a growing concern
Yet housing remains a growing worry for city residents, and has steadily risen up the ranking of public concerns every year since 2014.
The 2008 downturn brought the construction boom to a sudden end. Thousands of apartments were left unfinished before they were ready to go on the market, and many people were left paying mortgages and rents they could not afford.
That led to evictions as banks began repossessing homes, which in turn led to the emergence of the anti-eviction movement, arguably one of the most influential political movements since the economic crisis. Its most visible leader, Ada Colau, even became the mayor of Barcelona.
Personal concerns of residents
Yet, when it comes to the personal concerns of Barcelona residents, unemployment and work conditions come out on top, despite a drop of three points in the survey since last year.
Residents' personal concerns about work are followed by Catalonia's relationship with Spain and then housing, which came in second and third place in the survey, respectively.