Three weeks after the Congress of Deputies approved the Housing Law, the Senate has done the same and makes the text the first Spanish legislation that recognizes the right to housing for citizens and that aims to regulate price increases in areas where rents are skyrocketing. Here we analyze the keys to the new legislation.
Why the housing law is not a bargain for the ‘squatters’
The debate in the Upper House has followed a line similar to that of Congress, with repeated criticism from PP, Vox or Ciudadanos, among others, focused on the fact that the law defends the ‘squatters’, puts a red carpet on them or, even, “creates the right to squat.” In fact, throughout the more than five hours of debate, there has been more talk about issues that have nothing to do with the housing problem, such as ETA or the ‘only yes is yes’ law.
The Senate has given the green light to the Housing Law by urgent procedure, despite the proposal to veto the text presented by the opposition. The Upper House has also voted against all the amendments presented by the groups.
Last week, the Minister of Transport, Mobility and the Urban Agenda, Raquel Sánchez, noted in an interview with elDiario.es that she did not expect changes to the text that came out of Congress.
“We have given ourselves a more than ample margin to collect the amendments that were negotiated in the Congress of Deputies. We have had a lot of time to work on these amendments and, also, the contributions of representatives of the entities and groups of the sector”, explained Sánchez. “I don’t think we are going to have new additions because there has been plenty of time to be able to propose and analyze them. I hope that approval is imminent, ”he advanced.
A debate away from home
In the debate, first of the vetoes proposed by the opposition and after the amendments that will not be incorporated into the law, in addition to criticism of the supposed defense of ‘squatting’, issues outside the reality of the housing, such as the effects of the ‘only yes is yes’ Law or the presence on the electoral lists of EH Bildu of candidates with blood crimes.
“Spain does not need the housing policy of the independentistas”, assured the PP senator, Pilar Rojo, because she understands that it is a law “promoted by Bildu”, a party that “mocks the victims”. It should be remembered that the text that went ahead in Congress went ahead after the agreement of the coalition government with ERC and EH Bildu.
During the debate, the popular senator, Pedro Rollán, has gone a step further by assuring that this law is built “on the rubble of the Plaza de República Dominicana.” Also, from the Zaragoza Barracks or Hipercor, he has listed, in reference to the attacks by the terrorist group ETA. “He is whitewashing Bildu and Otegui so much that any day he could be sitting in the Council of Ministers,” he assured in the gallery of the Upper House.
On the other hand, the senator of the PSOE, Ramón Morales, has affirmed that the Law approved today in the Senate seeks to “increase the stock of social housing” for rent at affordable prices. In reference to the 183,000 homes that the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, has promised over the last few weeks. Also, that the text does not contradict the regional powers and has estimated the number of ‘squatted’ homes at 0.07% with respect to the total park of properties, which is close to 26 million.
To close the debate, Minister Raquel Sánchez has assured the Senate that this law is a “momentous” change because decent housing becomes “a legally guaranteed right.” Also, that the Law protects the autonomous powers and the right to property, which is included in the Constitution, and that collaboration between administrations is necessary, given the distribution of powers in housing matters.