Various entities in Alicante such as CC OO, EU, the Union of Barri de Carolinas, Marea Roja, Podemos and Compromís denounce that behind the rising evictions in various neighborhoods of the city flourish the business of tourist rental flats. All these entities took advantage of the mobilization that took place yesterday in the Carolinas neighborhood to demand more social housing after managing, helped by pressure from dozens of neighbors, to stop the eviction of three families who live in one of the blocks on Elda street. The judicial commission went with a locksmith to the building first thing in the morning but he limited himself to changing the lock of a ground floor apartment that was already empty. The tenants of another of the floors also had a housing alternative and left, but there are three families, including a single mother with two children, who, for the moment, can remain in the building when the launch is paralyzed.
A court issued the order to evict the houses after Sareb (the bank created almost a decade ago to manage the real estate ruin created by the 2008 crisis) refused to negotiate a lease. Three families who, according to those present at the protest, without fail paid the rent to the developer who owned the flats that they exploited on a rental basis but whose homes became the property of the so-called “bad bank.” The Barri Union, recently created in the Carolinas to defend the interests of these families, demands to negotiate with Sareb, and CC OO, EU and Compromís recall that Sareb, the so-called bad bank, was “rescued with money from all Spaniards” . The entities agree that behind these evictions is the interest of renting the properties for tourist purposes or leaving them empty so that prices fluctuate for speculative purposes.
Through Adrián Cervetto, the Barri Union announced demonstrations and social pressure in all those cases in which an eviction is ordered, “we will put pressure on the institutions and Sareb, because part of their money is ours (from the citizens)”. Fernando Patón, from Marea Roja Alacant, said that “their thing would be for social rental contracts to be made. Sareb is trying to sell the flats to investment funds and create tourist flats. That Sareb does it is very serious because half of the money of this company is public”.
Francisco García, General Secretary of the CC OO in Alicante, present on Calle Elda, highlighted the lack of social housing in Alicante and, like Isabel González, from the US, stressed that Sareb was born from banks rescued by all Spaniards, «and now they throw people out for tourist rentals because it is more profitable for them». García elaborated that in the union they handle relevant information on the work of promoting private housing for tourism purposes. “They take homes that had to be for social use for tourist flats. There is pressure on housing exerted by tourism that has arrived in this neighborhood and that centrifuges the people with the most need, threatening people who live on welfare pensions and who may be evicted from their environment and their lives. This is the case of Mari Carmen Peret and Dolores del Carmen, who said that they want to kick them out of their usual homes in Doctor Buades and Colonia Requena and that a promoter behind them refuses to negotiate a rent, offering them 1,200 euros to march. María Cueva, from the Joves area of CC OO, pointed out that there is a relationship between evictions and the fact that young people cannot access rental housing because the eviction of flats for tourist rental purposes “means kicking out the working class of the area and raise prices. With the salaries we have, paying rent is impossible.” The mayor of Compromís Rafa Mas, present at the protest, will propose in the January plenary session the call for the Housing Roundtable, created in 2017. «It is necessary to provide effective housing solutions for people who need it. The City Council cannot remain impassive in the face of the current situation, the municipal government must guarantee housing for the people of Alicante, and avoid constant evictions. It must return to articulate a dialogue and negotiation table between public institutions, financial entities and those affected, “he said.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.