SPAIN – Families join waiting list to squat in empty apartments as mortgage foreclosures bite

spainsquatAn organised group of squatters have moved into an empty block of apartments in Malaga’s Calle Ventura Rodriguez and given hope to families who have lost their homes as a result of Spain’s financial crisis.

Families with young children and babies have visited the building in the hope of finding a place in the block, which was abandoned when the building company went bankrupt.

The group, PAH (Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca) which was formed to fight against evictions due to mortgage default, has housed 17 family groups in the 14 apartment complex. Demand for the squat has been so high, that the PAH have developed a waiting list for families in most need, and are searching the city for other empty properties they can use.

The building is owned by Spanish bank Bankinter which repossessed the building from the builders. The bank says it has taken no action against the squatters as yet, and that their lawyers were looking at possible courses of action. The bank also said it has stopped legal procedures against its customers facing eviction as a result of mortgage default.

The bank did stress that it was concerned about the apartment block the squatters are using because building has not been completed on the site.

One of the organisers of the squat said that families are desperate. Many families in Spain are facing very tough times, with more and more becoming unemployed and unable to repay mortgages or rents on their accommodation.

The aim of PAH is to fight for collective change within the country and a fairer society where those most affected and vulnerable are not pushed into unnecessary hardship.

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One thought on “SPAIN – Families join waiting list to squat in empty apartments as mortgage foreclosures bite

  1. This squatter occupation movement appears to solve several problems for homeless Spanish families. However, the banks who have the legal ownership now of the blocks of apartments should organize cooperation with the squatter occupants to keep high
    standards within the occupied properties so that the properties do not deteriorate, also keep strict control of which squatters are permitted in order to maintain standards.
    This will be an interesting phase in the process of building the self-respect in Spain which will be an important part of upgrading the confidence and economy to normal.
    I look forward to Spanish bank leaders to quickly analyse and solve their problems.
    If necessary, several of us pensioned management consultants can assist with advice.
    What is needed is often just an honest careful discussion of the problems to be solved.
    Arnold Lohne, retired management consultant from Svenska MEC, http://www.lohne.se

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