The banks based in Mataró maintain about 1,500 empty and closed apartments, many of them from evictions, which refuse to take to the market to help alleviate the situation that, according to social entities such as the Platform of Affected for the Mortgage (PAH) is already unsustainable. The municipality, for its part, admits that the negotiations with the banks do not produce positive results regarding the cession of homes, but instead the municipal services emphasize that they manage to paralyze all the evictions that come to them.
“As far as we know, there are 79 people sleeping on the street and about 150 forced to sleep in the cars” reveals Sebastià Tenés, spokesperson for the Platform for People Affected by Mortgages (PAC), an active section of the Federació de Associations de Veïns de Mataró (FAVM) which, in parallel to the municipal action, negotiates directly with the banking entities “extensions and exemptions for those affected by eviction” that, on occasion, such as that of the family of the blind threatened by the BBVA, ends with the bank paralyzing the judicial process.
The councilor of Habitatge of the City Council of Mataró, Montserrat Rodríguez, admits that so far, the banks, “although initially seemed receptive to our proposals” to give away empty flats that would be destined for social rent, have not given any. “They fear that if they give in to a city like Mataró, then all the others will come,” the counselor explains. In other cases, he says, “prefer to manage social rent from their own foundations.” Even so, Rodríguez points out that “apart from the pressure that is exerted by the city council, we also negotiate from the Agència Catalana de l’Habitatge”.
“The city council does not negotiate well”
From the PAH think that “the city has not negotiated well with banking entities.” Proof of this, Tenés points out that other populations of similar size “like Sant Boi or Figueres have managed to transfer flats from the banks”. The key for the neighborhood organization is that “intermediaries should not negotiate” and they are convinced that the solutions could be discarded “if the mayor in person carries out the direct management with the highest instances of the banks and savings banks”. They maintain that, if from the PAH we can achieve progress, “the municipality would have better”.
In Mataró there are hundreds of homeless people, explains Sebastià Tenés, who “could pay a social rent around 400 euros” depending on each case. If the city council supported an exemption from the IBI or other fiscal measures that favored the owners, according to the PAH, the negotiation could change “whenever the mayor leads the movement”. An entity that also “should reorganize” because the administration and entities operate in parallel and, in many cases “the files cross” a confusion that financial entities take advantage of to “avoid their commitments”.
In the Town Hall of Mataró, although they admit the failure in the negotiations with the banks so that these five floors to be destined to social rents, they are very proud of the results obtained from the Xarxa de Benestar Social for the evictions. Montserrat Rodríguez explains that “once we demand a single interlocutor for each banking entity” to eliminate the excess of bureaucratization that financial institutions print in each process “and the fact that the city council is negotiating a case of eviction with the bank, it has it was a decisive advance “. The consistory informs that “not only advise the affected but that the consistory is maintained throughout the process accompanying the affected, until the conclusion of the file.”
Accompaniment in the negotiation
Proof of the efficiency in the negotiations to avoid the evictions from the municipal services, as they point out, is that “since the month of March we have attended 110 cases of evictions and all have been without effect”. Montserrat Rodríguez points out that, in 50% of the cases, the refinancing of the debt has been negotiated, without losing the home. In others, with the dation in payment, the outstanding debt has been canceled in its totality and in smaller number, after the dation in payment a social rent has been incorporated. “But none of the 110 affected have had to leave their house” emphasizes the counselor.
In parallel, the town hall has made arrangements with the judicial establishment. Thus, Montserrat Rodríguez, praises the predisposition of the judge dean of Mataró, since with her it has been obtained that from the same courts that process the foreclosures, at the moment of delivering the notifications, also “the affected ones are informed about the centers of municipal advice to those who can go “.