To tackle the issue of affordable housing, the City of Barcelona bundles multiple policy approaches and instruments within the housing plan “The Barcelona Housing System: a mission-oriented economy (2016 – 2025).” The aim is to increase the city’s affordable housing stock, to preserve and upgrade the existing stock and to make sure that vacant homes and holiday lets are returned to the rental market. Therefore, all relevant stakeholders are addressed: the private market, non-profit developers, and the public sector, thus ensuring diversity in supply.read more
Building, purchasing, mobilizing.
Through mobilizing vacant stock, purchasing land and building new houses, the City of Barcelona aims to increase the affordable housing stock by appr. 10,000 units by 2025. The majority of these will be realised through public funding schemes, the rest by way of public-private partnerships, half of which involve non-profit companies.
For the new construction of affordable housing, Barcelona uses a cooperative housing model: the city provides building plots under a 75- to 99-year lease. City and state have joined forces in granting long-term loans. Buildings are built and maintained by housing cooperatives. Once loans are paid back, 50 % of the benefits must be invested in a revolving fund to support new cooperative projects.
The industrialization of the construction process of public units makes them cheaper, faster to build and more sustainable. In Barcelona’s APROP program, standardized elements are pre-fabricated in mass-production, using significantly less energy than case-by-case housing construction. The adaptation of disused shipping containers for temporary housing requires a mere 400 kWh of renewable energy and the finished buildings are fitted with green roofs, vegetable gardens and clad with ventilated facades.read more
Fostering social sustainability.
Aside from the ecological benefits, the APROP program also focuses on social sustainability. As industrialized housing construction is quite cheap, it also counteracts gentrification. Prefabricated housing can be allocated at short notice to people in need, and can provide temporary housing to people with trouble accessing the regular housing market.The programme also aims at aiding community development by offering communal spaces on the ground floors and rooftops, and providing training and work placements to people at risk of exclusion.