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Short description / Current status and future steps / Lessons learned:
= Case description =
The difficulty for citizens of Catalonia to access affordable housing is
increasing; in particular social housing is a major public concern in this
and other European regions.
The Register of Social Housing Developers (Registre d’Entitats
Promotores d’Habitatge Protegit, REPHP) was created in 2007 by
Barcelona Provincial Council (Diputació de Barcelona, DIBA) with the
objective of fostering concerted action with town councils in the Province
of Barcelona to develop and manage social housing on municipal land
through private developers (concerted developments on land that is not
publicly owned and/or that do not have the aim of developing land subject
to some type of public protection are expressly excluded). REPHP
supports the town councils by means of technical, financial and legal
assistance provided by DIBA and it provides a tool that facilitates the
coordination of social housing developments with private developers.
REPHP implements a framework of public-private cooperation as it is
based on a three-level partnership: 1. Diputació de Barcelona, which is
a second-level local government body; 2. the local governments in the
Province; with the authority to develop and manage housing, but with
uneven capacities and resources. The councils are the beneficiaries
of the support programme offered by DIBA; 3. local, national and
foreign private developers (profit and non-profit organisations), with
proven experience in the construction and operation of social housing.
REPHP implements two differentiated stages: 1. an inclusion stage, preselection
of the developers and registration with REPHP by means of
a single tender; 2. award stage; a number of independent procedures
for the awarding of specific developments through tenders restricted
to developers registered with REPHP. It is organised into a section to
develop social housing to be sold (alienation section) and a section to
develop social housing for rent or for concession of use (land-use rights/
administrative concession section). Thus, in all the developments that
are not to be sold, the land continues to be publicly held and the property
continues to be owned by the town council. REPHP consists of a special
procedure that is regulated by the European Union and institutionally
backed by the Government of Catalonia. The legal framework for
the procedure is as follows: 1.Directive 2004/18/EC of the European
Parliament and of the Council of 31 March 2004 on the coordination
of procedures for the award of public works contracts, public supply
contracts and public service contracts.
Currently, 37 developers are registered in the alienation section and
19 in the right of use or administrative concession section. Seven
developments have been awarded, which will mean a total of 185 new
social housing units, 63% of which are for rent or cession of use. In
the coming months 35 new developments will be awarded, i.e. a total
of 969 new homes, 69% of which are for rent or cession of use. Thus,
REPHP is making it possible for social housing to be developed in
towns where until now resources did not allow such developments.
This contributes towards balancing the right to affordable housing for all
citizens regardless of the size of the town where they live.