The Government draws a checkbook to place Sareb flats as social housing




Getting the tens of thousands of properties owned by the Management Company for Assets Proceeding from Bank Restructuring (Sareb) put on the market as social housing has a cost. Steps have already been taken in this direction: first, laying the foundations to nationalize the entity, and second, by approving the 2022-2025 state housing plan.

Sareb, an entity created in 2012 to absorb problem assets from the financial sector, has more than 46,000 homes throughout Spain. Not all of them are available as there are some already ceded to different administrations, nor are they habitable as they require reform. But it is a highly attractive real estate park for the Government.

the shareholding

of the company, today, is distributed as follows: 54.1% in the hands of banks and insurers and 45.9% in the hands of the FROB, that is, the State. This structure will change since the Executive will take control by exceeding 50% of the share capital in the coming weeks by buying the bank’s shares for a symbolic value. Sareb will become, de facto, a public company.

Under this scenario, the Government has already designed what it will do with the flats that this monster of more than 30,000 million in assets. The state housing plan approved last week establishes “the program for making Sareb homes available for rent as affordable or social housing in order to speed up the signing of Sareb agreements with the autonomous communities and cities of Ceuta and Melilla or the local administrations».

The purpose of this program is to encourage the different regional and local administrations to request the Sareb the transfer of their homes to dedicate them to social rental. All this is also framed in the intention of the Executive, signed last year, to take 15,000 homes of this entity to social rental.

Thus, the Executive will give “an aid of between 150 and 175 euros per month” to each regional and local administration for each home from which it acquires the assignment to allocate it to social rental. The Government justifies this disbursement with the fact that it is an aid “to meet the price agreed upon in the transfer of usufruct carried out by Sareb”. But the use of the checkbook does not end there: «Additionally, and in the event that habitability, accessibility or adaptation works are necessary, they (autonomies and town councils) may receive aid of up to 8,000 euros per home for these works with which they can cover up to 75% of them.

In any case, the financing of the program will require “the signing of a prior agreement within the monitoring commissions between the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, the autonomous communities and the corresponding city council.”

The Government will also intervene in the price that the administrations may charge for rent on these flats. “They may lease the homes assigned by Sareb or the public entity in question at a price of between 150 and 350 euros per month», states the state plan. It establishes a cap on public rents for this specific case.

The truth is that the nationalization of Sareb practically coincided with the launch of this programme. Coincidence or not The Government has made no secret of its intention to give Sareb properties a totally social aspect once I take control. Even United We Can has always gone much further as it wants to turn this entity into a public rental company to intervene even more directly in the market.

From the real estate sector they question, however, the location of these properties. supply problems in Spain they are located in large cities with high demand, and many of the assets owned by Sareb do not meet these requirements.

But the Government’s plans to put social housing on the market do not stop at Sareb. The Executive is trying to reach different agreements with banks to increase the number of flats that it currently allocates to the social housing fund so that families who have lost their homes as a result of non-payment have a place to live. In addition, the Executive has been working for years on the signing of different agreements with different investment funds so that they can bring to the market 30,000 properties that remain empty today. A plan for which the option of offering subsidized rentals is also being studied.

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