The Commission for Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda of the Congress has approved this Thursday the report of the Presentation of the Housing Law, with the votes in favor of PSOE, Unidas Podemos, Esquerra Republicana (ERC) and EH Bildu, against PP, Vox, Ciudadanos, PDeCAT and the Canary Islands Coalition. After passing this parliamentary procedure, the opinion of the commission will be raised next week to the plenary session of Congress with the idea of urgently sending it to the Senate and that the norm be in force before the regional and municipal elections on May 28.
The text approved this Thursday finally includes four compromise amendments where the headings of PDeCAT and Junts appear to guarantee the non-invasion of jurisdiction, something that various pro-independence groups have denounced in the last week. Likewise, and after reaching an agreement with the Government to unblock the law last week, both Esquerra Republicana (ERC) and EH Bildu have withdrawn all their ‘living’ amendments, something that Unidas Podemos has also done. As regards the rest of the amendments from each of the groups, they have all been rejected.
The PNV has advanced that it will finally abstain in committee, although the deputy Íñigo Bariandaran has been very critical of the “de facto recentralization” of housing policies and the invasion of jurisdiction that the regulations suppose. “We have been without a Housing Law for 45 years because the State has no title”, he added. However, Bariandaran has explained that his group will refrain from negotiating until next Thursday’s plenary session on different measures that, in his opinion, are necessary, such as tourist apartments. The PSOE already said that it was willing to negotiate some additional amendments related to the regulation of this type of apartment.
Who has also been very critical of housing powers is Ferran Bel, from PDeCAT: “For us, this is clearly a law that generates jurisdictional invasion,” he has warned. To better illustrate it, Bel has given an example of the definitions established by the law in matters of subsidized housing or stressed area, which will be predetermined at the state level and will not be able to modify the autonomous communities.
However, the PDeCAT deputy has managed to include a transactional amendment to the text to eliminate the obligation that real estate agents have to take out civil liability insurance.
The spokesperson for Esquerra Republicana (ERC), Pilar Vallugera, has referred to the criticism of the alleged invasion of powers. She has defended the autonomist criteria, but has warned that these last “until a problem occurs” and the State decides to intervene. “The law is much better than if there were nothing,” Vallugera added, who also recalled that if the bill lacks regulation of seasonal rentals, these will be contemplated in another legal instrument that has not given more tracks.
On behalf of EH Bildu, Oskar Matute has disdained that the law involves an invasion of jurisdiction and has recognized that the regulations may not be liked by everyone, especially “investment funds”. Of course, he has said that it was not the purpose of his training to find the approval of these funds. In short, Matute has defended that the law places housing as a right and not a heritage and gives all the necessary tools to autonomous communities and municipalities “to do something” in terms of housing.
The housing spokesperson for United We Can, Pilar Garrido, has been exhaustive: “The law complies with the Constitution.” In addition, she has added that the norm implies “a paradigm shift” in housing because it is addressed as a right and is based on a public policy and not an economic one. She has also had time to refer to Pedro Sánchez’s recent announcement to mobilize 50,000 Sareb homes, something that she celebrates but, she recalled, which the Socialists have voted against on several occasions.
Lastly, the PSOE deputy, Vicent Manuel Sarrià, stressed that this is the first law for the right to housing in a democracy, and has ensured that it will comply with the constitutional mandate and provide “legal coverage and certainty”. In addition, he has extolled that the norm promotes public housing parks and it is prohibited that this can be acquired by investment funds.
On the side of the PP, Ana María Zurita has begun charging against the processing of the norm, which has been the case, in her opinion, with the aim of Pedro Sánchez “remaining in Moncloa” until the end of the year. Beyond the forms, Zurita has said that the law “is not going to be useful for anything” and, furthermore, “it is going to have unwanted effects.” In this line, she has crossed out the bill of “propaganda” and has warned that the PP will appeal it to the Justice when it enters into force.
There has also been a moment of anger on account of the Vox deputy, Cristina Esteban, who has reproached the government partners for negotiating the processing of the law with Bildu and ERC, whom she has labeled as “filoetarras” and “independentistas”. . Given this comment, the president of the commission, the socialist Ignacio López Cano, has asked the Vox deputy not to make this type of comment and refer to ERC and Bildu in this way.
Beyond this recess, Esteban has positioned himself against the law for, he says, protecting ‘squatting’ and being “partially unconstitutional” for invading powers. On the Ciudadanos side, Juan Ignacio López-Bas has criticized the accelerated processing of the last week, which he considers an “incorrect” legislative practice.
Likewise, he has recognized that in Spain there is a problem with access to housing, although he has pointed out that this would be solved with more public housing. Like PP and Vox, the Citizens deputy also believes that the rule assumes “de facto” the phenomenon of ‘squatting’ and leaves the owners defenseless.
The deputy and spokesperson for the Canary Islands Coalition, Ana Oramas, has gone so far as to say that with this law the ‘squatting’ is being “legalized”, by introducing new obstacles to evictions of people with a vulnerable economic situation. Likewise, she has charged against the definition of large property holders and has protested an alleged invasion of jurisdiction.
Follow all the information of Five days in Facebook, Twitter and Linkedinor in our newsletter Five Day Agenda