The Plenary of Congress will debate and vote next Thursday on the Housing Lawwhich represents the last procedure of the norm in the Lower House before going to the Senate, with the aim of receiving the green light and enter into force before the next electoral date for municipalities and some autonomies on May 28.
After bringing the bill more than a year blocked In Congress, the Government has decided to press the accelerator in the last week on the eve of the elections, something that has caused the anger of some formations such as Vox or Ciudadanos, who have accused PSOE and Unidas Podemos of apply the “parliamentary roller”. Thus, last week the text was approved in a closed-door presentation on Tuesday and in the Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda Commission on Thursday, this last meeting already in public session.
The intention of the Government is that work be accelerated in the Upper House with the idea that it be approved in the first plenary session of May so that the new law is in force. force even before the campaign of the municipal and regional elections of 28M.
Agreements with ERC and Bildu to approve the law
The law passed the filter of the commission with the support from PSOE, Unidas Podemos, Esquerra Republicana (ERC) and Bildu and the vote against PP, Vox, Ciudadanos, PDeCAT and the Canary Islands Coalition. In order to have the support of the pro-independence formations, the Government closed several agreements regarding cap on rent increases evictions of people in a vulnerable economic situation and the extension of stressed areas. The project also has the endorsement of Más País and Compromís, so that the estimated final vote would already have an absolute majority of 175 ‘yes’.
It remains to be seen what the PNV will finally do, which after being very critical of the norm for allegedly invading powers that belong to the autonomous communities, decided to abstain in committee with the aim of negotiating new amendments related to the regulation of tourist floors. The PSOE said that it was willing to negotiate some additional amendments related to the regulation of this type of apartment.
Invasion of jurisdiction and ‘squatting’, the main criticisms
Precisely, from the invasion of the State in the powers of the autonomous communities come the criticism of formations such as the PDeCAT, Junts or the Canary Islands Coalition. “For us, this is clearly a law generates jurisdictional invasion“, warned the PDeCAT spokesman, Ferran Bel, in commission. To better illustrate it, Bel gave an example of the definitions established by law in terms of protected housing or stressed area, which will be predetermined at the state level and will not be able to modify the autonomous communities .
The deputy and spokesperson for the Canary Islands Coalition, Ana Oramas, also charged against jurisdictional matters and went so far as to say that with this law squatting is being “legalized”, by introducing new obstacles in evictions to people with a vulnerable economic situation. On this last point, PP, Ciudadanos and Vox also warned, groups that consider that the law de facto assumes the phenomenon of ‘squatting’ leaves the owners defenseless.
The Government, ERC and Bildu disdain criticism
Faced with all these criticisms are the PSOE, Unidas Podemos, ERC and Bildu, since they consider that the law addresses housing as a right and complies with the Constitution. This was pronounced by the housing spokesperson for United We Can, Pilar Garrido, who was exhaustive: “The law complies with the Constitution.” In addition, she added that the norm implies “a paradigm shift” in housing because it is approached as a right and is based on a public policy and not an economic one.
The PSOE deputy, Vicent Manuel Sarrià, stressed that this is the first law for the right to housing in a democracy, and assured that it will comply with the constitutional mandate and It will give “coverage and legal certainty”. On behalf of EH Bildu, Oskar Matute ruled out that the law involves an invasion of jurisdiction and acknowledged that the regulations may not be liked by everyone, especially “investment funds”. Of course, he pointed out that it was not the purpose of his training to find the approval of these funds.
The spokesperson for Esquerra Republicana (ERC), Pilar Vallugera, also referred to the criticism of the alleged invasion of jurisdiction, who defended the autonomist criteria, but warned that these last “until a problem occurs” and the State decides to intervene.