Restarting Badalona brings together experts from the public and private spheres to share the problem of access to housing and propose solutions

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  • The participants have agreed that a metropolitan perspective is necessary to address the pending challenges in housing.
  • The city of Badalona, with contributions such as that of the Restarting association, shows that it wants to be there when it comes to tackling metropolitan challenges, as explained by its president, Ferran Falcó.
  • The president of Habitat, Joan Maria Nin, the Barcelona City Council Housing Manager, Javier Burón, the director of Incasol, Maria Sisternas, and the president of the Association of Developers and Builders of Catalonia, Xavier Vilajoana, have been moderated by the journalist from La Vanguardia, Silvia Angulo.

Restarting Badalona, together with Barcelona Global and the Metropolitan Strategic Plan have promoted a constructive debate session that under the title “The social challenge of building housing” has put on the table the determinants of the current problem of access to housing and has served to propose lines of action to work on the solution, which involve addressing the issue from a metropolitan perspective and with effective collaboration between the public and private spheres.

The president of Habitat, Joan Maria Nin, the Barcelona City Council Housing Manager, Javier Buron, the director of Incasol, Maria Sisternas, and the president of the Association of Developers and Builders of Catalonia, Xavier Vilajoana, agreed that it is It is necessary to build more homes, but this is not the only challenge that must be faced to facilitate access to a home in the current context characterized by an accumulated deficit of new constructions, high rental prices, and also by the new Housing Law.

For Joan Maria Nin, who spoke of “collective failure in this area and the accumulated deficit of new homes”, it is necessary to face future challenges, and said that “in order to resolve the issue, it is important to take into account the importance of balancing the supply and demand”. Likewise, among the challenges to be addressed, he says that “it is necessary to manufacture only for housing, financing is needed, and large developers that deliver between 25,000 homes a year and also property developers who put 100,000 homes for rent”, has remarked.

For her part, Maria Sisternas believes that “more urbanism is necessary to meet the challenge and has said that all European states share risks between the public and private world to make large reserves of sun, develop projects and recover investment.” She also pointed out that “the financial sector also made mistakes and now there are many empty apartments owned by Sareb. There is an opportunity to buy apartments and rehabilitate them to make them accessible to those who need it”.

Javier Burón has emphasized that “it is necessary to pool resources and that is why it makes perfect sense to address the problem from a metropolitan or regional level” and has also opted for shocking rental prices to push prices down, an aspect that includes the new Housing Law although it has been prudent and has said that “we have to see what ends up happening since there are autonomous communities that will apply this measure and others not”.

In his speech, Xavier Vilajoana was also in favor of thinking of “a great Barcelona in terms of housing, but not only thinking in kilometers but also in minutes, referring to the need to shorten the time to travel the distances between the capital and the municipalities from around”. He has said that “we must take advantage of opportunities to build homes for all, for all incomes, and that it is not a responsibility of the Administration but rather a country problem and that we must propose consensual agreements to move forward.” He has also said that “there are countries where we can reflect on ourselves in order to move forward, but it is true that they already began to make housing plans 25 years ago.” “Here we have an accumulated deficit in the construction of houses, since 25,000 to 30,000 a year are needed and only 16,000 are made, so here we must also recover the lost years.” 

The session was introduced by the president of Restarting Badalona, Ferran Falcó, together with the general director of Barcelona Global, Mercè Conesa, who have valued the alliance of these two entities to promote initiatives such as this one that want to generate a positive debate on topics that can be useful to us as a society and that “help our city to put itself on the map”, explained the president of Restarting Badalona.

The closure was carried out by the general coordinator of the Barcelona Metropolitan Strategic Plan, Oriol Estela, together with the elected mayors of Badalona, Xavier Garcia Albiol, and Sant Adrià de Besòs, Filo Cañete.