This week, President Carles Puigdemont and Cristina de Parias, director of BBVA Spain, reached an agreement between the Government of Catalonia and Grupo BBVA that will secure a total of 1,800 properties for social housing throughout the next 32 months.
The agreement between the Generalitat and the Spanish banking group was signed on Monday in efforts to increase the number of affordable houses for vulnerable families and guarantee the right to housing in Catalonia.
According to the President, the agreement was a testament “against the indifference of spread sheets, account balances and operating reports”. Instead, the arrangement “has to do with sensitivity” and proves “we care about solving problems and not creating them”.
The settlement is the first of its kind between the financial entity and an autonomous community as well as the largest in terms of the number of properties secured by the Catalan Government.
The President explained that through this new agreement the Government of Catalonia will have 1,800 more houses “to offer families that are having difficulties with the costs of rent” thereby doubling the Government’s existing social housing capacity and, consequently, doubling the number of families being supported in the context of a state-wide housing crisis.
During the singing of the agreement, which took place at the Palau de la Generalitat, the President asserted that the Government’s decision in the matter is the result of the Executive’s “obsession in prioritizing the citizens above all else” and that the agreement “allows us to take a step forward in finding a solution to the vital problems that concern our country’s families”, such as the housing crisis, affirmed Puigdemont.
The President also noted that the settlement would “increase confidence in economic terms”, but more importantly it would “build confidence in the people”, as those wishing to start a business “will find financial entities and institutions at their side to support them in their ventures”.
Also attending the event was the Minister of Governance Public Administrations and Housing, Meritxell Borràs, who encourage other financial entities to “follow the same path”, affirming that “financial entities have understood that they must also share responsibility in the mater”.
“In spite of the difficulties”, explained Borràs, “the Government of Catalonia is developing a wide range of actions to solve emergency situations faced by many families”. “This is a practical approach that offers a quick solution to the problem, because today the most pressing matter is to deal with the emergency”, she added.
The Minister also underlined the important role played by the Catalan Housing Agency and encouraged those experiencing difficulties in paying their mortgage or rent “to go to their local housing office where they will be offered the best solutions for their particular case”. “It is a long way, but we are progressing forward despite the difficulties”, she added.