The initiative, which will be defended by Councilor Gloria Martín, includes a 95% IBI bonus for owners who give up rental homes for social use, a 50% surcharge on this tax to banks that keep their properties uninhabited, or the start-up of a municipal housing office that will manage a social rental exchange with advantages for landlords, such as insurance against defaults for one year.
It will also force the City Council to report situations of tax fraud and abuse against subtenants The councilor for Izquierda Unida-Verdes, Gloria Martín, will defend in the ordinary plenary session in October a battery of measures to combat the overcrowding situations that occur in homes in Lorca.
Martín has assured that this problem is posing a serious obstacle to guarantee compliance with the personal isolation measures necessary to stop the transmission curve of Covid-19, while the "difficult circumstances of subletting suffered by some neighbors prevent them from protecting themselves and avoiding the spread of the coronavirus.
" Martín has also denounced "abuses" linked to subleases at an exorbitant cost of 280 euros per room that mean, in practice, that a 90m2 apartment is inhabited by up to sixteen people.
In this sense, he recalled that the sectoral regulations of some autonomous communities consider that there is overcrowding when the minimum space that a person has in the home they occupy does not reach 15 meters and that there are homes in Lorca where that space, per person , is reduced to 5.6 m2.
"For humanitarian and public health reasons, this is a social reality to which we cannot turn our backs," he said about it. The councilor of IU-Verdes has explained that, by law, the City Council is obliged to register in the municipal register those people who prove that they live in the municipality and that, by virtue of current regulations, "it is not our responsibility to carry out any control over the legality or illegality of the residence of any of our neighbors ".
In the same way, the City Council must accept the slums as valid addresses when making the inscriptions in the register.
This is so because registration is the gateway to basic public benefits, such as education or emergency health care, fundamental rights protected by the Constitution. However, the IU-Verdes councilor believes that the "necessary" search for equity in health or education, "should not be an obstacle for municipalities to guarantee compliance with the conditions of habitability, safety and health that, by virtue of the laws are also enforceable in any home.
" For this reason, IU-Verdes is committed to a plan that combines the dignity of the living conditions of the most vulnerable people, by increasing the offer of social rent at an affordable price and with legal security for owners and tenants, with the fight against abuses and tax fraud, especially those related to subleases that generate overcrowding in dwellings. The IU measures include the re-allocation of human and technical resources of the Department of Housing and the creation, within a period of three months, of a municipal commission on habitability in housing, made up of technicians from said department and those of Education , Social Services, Citizen Security and the Municipal Register Office, in addition to representatives of municipal groups, the Federation of Neighborhood Associations, the Federation of Women's Organizations and private agents, such as farm administrators.
The objective is "to create mechanisms for coordination, cooperation and collaboration between all the parties involved." Also within a period of no more than three months, the City Council should launch a Municipal Housing Office and the 'Lorca Rent' program as a free and comprehensive mediation service that serves as a stimulus to owners to put on the rental market housing for people with difficulties to access it.
The services would include the management of a social rental housing stock, legal-tax advice for the drafting of contracts, a clause to submit to arbitration in case of conflict, non-payment insurance for one year and advice on tax deductions and aid public. To encourage the transfer of housing for social rental managed by this municipal office, IU will request to apply bonuses of 95% of the Real Estate Tax to their owners.
In the same way, it will request that an agreement be promoted with the financial entities that own permanently unoccupied properties, so that they make them available to the rental exchange.
"Otherwise, we demand that a 50% surcharge be applied to the IBI, the maximum allowed by law for banks that have empty homes," said Martín. Finally, and among other measures, IU will request that the City Council inform the Tax Administration of those events or situations that may constitute tax offenses related to the non-compliance of the landlords' tax obligations.
"The burden of the Treasury must fall on those who, with total lack of scruples, are doing business with the most urgent needs of human beings", concluded Martín.
Source: IU-verdes Lorca