Expatica news

Fresh row over government’s mini-flats plan

15 April 2005

MADRID – The government’s controversial plans to solve the housing crisis by building ‘mini-flats’ measuring just 30sq/m has run into new problems after a study said this would be prohibitively expensive.

The report said the smaller flats would be 36.6 percent more expensive to build than an apartment three times the size.

The College of Master Builders and Architects in Madrid said the basic cost of building a block of these smaller apartments did not account for the extra costs which might come from market inflation.

The Socialist government, which pledged to solve the lack of affordable housing, said it would build up to 180,000 new homes to rent or buy each year.

Housing minister Maria Antonia Trujillo announced this week the plan to build the so-called ‘mini-flats’  which met with opposition from housing chiefs at the regional government in Catalonia, in north-east Spain. 

House prices in Spain rose 17 percent last year, making buying a home an impossible dream for many young families.

Just a day after the government’s latest plan to build smaller flats was unveiled, Catalan housing minister Carme Trilla refused to invest in the scheme.

She said: “We will not invest in flats of this size.”

Trilla said that the minimum size of apartment which was habitable was 60sqm but the average public flat measured between 70-80sqm. For larger families public housing can be up to 120sq/m in Catalonia.

Trilla said these small apartments brought back memories of flats made in the Franco era, which now present many problems to convert to modern standards.

Smaller flats were a way of solving housing shortages which have been used in Nordic countries and which have worked.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news