The Spanish association of public housing and land managers (AVS), integrated by public bodies that promote social housing, have sent a letter to the Minister of Finance, María Jesús Montero, in which they demand that the municipalities can allocate their surplus to build social housing.
"It is essential to guarantee the Housing Policy proposed by the new Government that allows the budget surplus and the consequent remnant of municipal treasury can be directed to the financing of affordable public housing programs both in rent and sale through consideration as Financially Sustainable Investments (IFS), "the association maintains in the letter sent to the Treasury.
The AVS, composed of 26 public housing management bodies from different communities, calls for a change in the Budget Stability and Financial Sustainability Law, approved in 2012. This regulation regulates a protocol to balance public accounts and establishes counterweights so that at times of bonanzas the public administrations save for when they come badly given. For this reason, it prevents the municipalities from allocating their savings to investments that are not sustainable (IFS). And the definition of these is very restricted.
Surplus since 2012
"Following the regulations issued in recent years, with the excuse of applying anti-crisis criteria, public managers have been unable to maintain their traditional action to promote public housing protected for the most disadvantaged sections of the population," adds the missive.
The municipalities have registered a budget surplus since 2012 and have reduced their debt considerably since then. In fact, they have accumulated in banks more than 25,000 million euros in current accounts for not being able to spend their savings. However, the current Government has agreed with the Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP) to make the concept of financially sustainable investments more flexible so that mayors can spend more.
"It is inconceivable that there are councils that, with a high demand for social housing by citizens, with enough Municipal Heritage land for this and funds from budget surplus, can not use it to meet this demand for housing so necessary and demanded by society, "the association points out in the letter.