Housing is already the main problem for several generations of Spaniards. Not only for young people, but there are also more and more adults who cannot have a housing solution even if their income is around average.
A drama for which the solution is not at all simple and which, to make matters worse, is causing the importation into Spain of situations that border on inhumanity. The worst practices, more typical of other European capitals or even third world countries, are beginning to reach large cities like Barcelona, Madrid or Donosti.
It is enough to take a look at the real estate portals to see that anyone who can buy or rent a modest apartment in a central area of a Spanish city is privileged. The supply is scarce and that is where the problem lies. The few opportunities that exist last seconds and in some cases the abuses are obvious.
This is the case of the latest “bargain” published in Barcelona: A 12 m2 penthouse, located on Travessera de les Corts and at the modest price of 650 euros per month. The advertisement is real, there is no trick: “Because it is so small, it is like a room, since it is all open plan,” describes the owner, “and we have put in the minimum to be able to cook, cool and wash, since we will put in a toilet, a small sink and a floor shower.” As is, without trap or cardboard.
More advantages, the advertisement says: “The ideal is that it has an elevator and direct access to the community terrace.” The penthouse is promoted as “ideal for students who want to live alone rather than sharing a room.” It doesn't all end there: “Two-month deposit in advance.”
This is one of the hundreds of ads that border on the subhuman and that populate rental pages. In Spain, old storage rooms and electricity and water meter rooms are being rented as if they were homes. If someone is willing to live there, there is business.
The problem is not unique to Spanish cities. In Paris, a similar advertisement has gone viral these days, promoting a modest apartment of just 10 m2 with views of the Eiffel Tower. The problem is that the toilet is next to the bed. The advantage is that it has privileged views of the Seine.
It is true that in Spain there is a Housing law that, apparently, is not being able to solve these situations, which are legal, on the other hand. It will be necessary to see if the new Ministry of Housing is capable of giving some hope.