Finding an affordable rental apartment, even on an income, is becoming increasingly complicated. The market is tight and the real estate sector is doing all it can to expand its offer while prices are going through the roof.
In Mataró, the situation is no different from other cities in the metropolitan area and in the last year, rental prices have skyrocketed by 33%. Now the City Council wants to “experiment” and has presented an innovative initiative that has been selected by the European Urban Innovative Actions programme which will fund the project with €2.5 million over the next three years. The formula involves creating a cooperative of tenants to generate an affordable and stable rental market in the long term.
“It is a corporate rental experiment that we believe can work both for the owners and those interested in finding a place to live at an affordable and stable price,” says the head of the Mataró City Council, Albert Terrones.
For owners of vacant properties it means there are incentives for renting out their flats at affordable prices. “We propose that the rents be managed by the cooperative which will pay the owners who will have the security of guaranteed payment,” says Terrones.
The cooperative will help owners with renovations, give access them to funds for energy efficiency improvements, have a guarantee fund for rents, provide benefits in municipal taxes such as the property taxes or capital gains taxes.
Experts do not rule out that this new cooperative model could lead to other social economy projects linked to housing, such as home-building or the purchase of plots.