Spain is the third country in the European Union (EU) with the highest percentage of households that have experienced delays in rent or mortgage payments, 6.5%, only behind Greece and Ireland, and which is double of the European average (3.2%), denounced the NGO Save The Children on Tuesday. The organization has published the study ‘Here there is no one who lives: an analysis of the difficulties of families to pay for housing in Spain’.
“Doing nothing against poverty costs millions to all of society”
The report points out that in the current context of rising house prices, especially rental prices, which have not been accompanied by an increase in family income, with an intense devaluation of wages in the current inflationary crisis, have intensified the difficulties of many households.
“This overload affects four out of 10 households with dependent sons or daughters who live for rent. They are those who have to allocate at least 30% of their income to paying for housing, which means having less budget for other parenting needs”, explains the NGO.
This is the case of Manuela, a 45-year-old separated mother who lives in Seville with two children. “Right now I owe three electricity bills and one water bill plus this month’s rent because I don’t get it. I have to choose between paying for them or eating”, exposes the affected person, collects the Europa Press agency.
The study delves into the conditions of the homes and warns that more than 2 out of 10 children live in unhealthy homes, which affects their physical and mental health, and affects their growth, development, school performance and safety, as detailed the director of the organization, Andrés Conde. This unsanitary situation refers to things like a leaking roof, damp walls, floors, or foundations, or rotting window frames or floors.
Only 2% of households in poverty received aid
The NGO warns that, despite positive measures such as those included in the so-called “social shield”, the current situation in the housing market can return many families to risk situations. The study recalls that “it is estimated that between 70% and 80% of evictions – almost 700,000 in Spain since 2008 – affect families with children and adolescents, according to United Nations data.
The humanitarian organization has warned of the shortage of social housing and public aid. Thus, Spain ranks as one of the countries with the “smallest social housing stocks in Europe”, reaching barely 2.5% of the total, a quarter of the European average, which is 9.3%, highlights The report.
The scope of the aid is also a problem, according to the study, with only 2% of households with minors in poverty who are covered by it, according to Save the Children’s calculations with data from the Living Conditions Survey. from the INE. They point out that there are “1.6 million families with children in a situation of poverty” of which approximately 310,000 suffered delays in housing payments. Although, in 2020, “only 25,000 families” with dependent minors received a housing benefit.
The director of Social and Political Incidence of Save the Children, Catalina Perazzo, has stressed that “a million and a half more subsidized homes would be needed to meet social needs” in Spain, while advocating tackling their construction including the initiative private.
To face these challenges, the NGO has disseminated a series of recommendations. Among them, it calls for “increasing annual budgets to increase the financing of housing policies that protect access to housing by families with sons and daughters in vulnerable situations”, as well as “automating access to direct housing aid for the families receiving the IMV, minimum income or similar”, for example.