Occupying Raval flats to stop drug dealers

Inés, a mother of two children aged six and nine, yesterday moved into a flat on carrer Riera Baixa, in Barcelona’s Raval neighbourhood, with the help of local people. The move came after celebrating a communal lunch and the street’s traditional Saturday market. Inés joins half a dozen families that in the past month have occupied flats in a building on the street as part of local initiative to find places to live for people in need, while avoiding empty flats being taken over by drug dealers. The building belongs to Sareb and the flat to Banc Sabadell, and for some time the neighbours have suspected it was being scouted by a group looking for flats to occupy to sell drugs.

Inés says she came to Barcelona from Ceuta to escape her husband’s violence against the children, and that she has been living with her mother. “But there are seven people living in a small flat, one of whom is my tetraplegic brother,” she says.

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