Catalonia is ahead in the official numbers of evictions since 2013, according to data from the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ in Catalan). Last year in Catalonia, there were a total of 13,308 evictions, with 10,000 already this year until September. The latest figures from the CGPJ, from the third quarter of this year, indicate that the number of evictions due to non-payment of rents are three times those for non-payment of mortgages.
However, social organisations complain that the official figures do not tell the whole truth. Lucía Delgado, spokeswoman for the PAH, insists that the figures do not take into account the people who hand in their keys to the property before the eviction takes place, because they cannot face the idea of someone throwing them out of their homes.
“An eviction is an act of extreme violence and that is why many want to avoid it,” she says. Also counted as invisible evictions are cases of families who cannot renew their rental contracts due to what often amounts to abusive price rises and so they are forced to leave their homes, says Irene Escorihuela, head of the Observatori DESC, who also points to flats occupied by squatters. “The statistics do not take into account the cases of vulnerable families unlawfully occupying flats,” she says.
According to the PAH spokeswoman evictions are only counted since 2013 because they called for it. Now, they want things to go further and include all evictions. “According to official figures, every day in Barcelona there are an average of 10 to 12 evictions, but we think there are many more,” says Delgado, who adds that since the middle of November the platform has prevented some 170 evictions in the Catalan capital alone.