Next Wednesday, 26th September, is the date set for a vote, in the Andalusian Parliament, on the amendment requested by those affected by irregular houses, presented by the PP and supported by Ciudadanos, which could resolve the problem of many thousands of these houses.
The amendment, requested by AUAN, counts on the support of the Andalusian Confederation of associations and federations of those affected known as “CALU”. This confederation represents some 40,000 families who live throughout Andalusia.
Gerardo Vazquez, spokesperson for AUAN, will be present in Seville on the day of the vote, accompanied by representatives of CALU. It is expected that various municipal authorities will also be present. Vazquez says “All the affected want is a bit of common sense, not favours. Those affected are currently discriminated against, abandoned and nearly always tormented by the lack of a solution for their problems.
It is true that there have been advances, but there is much to be done. I do not know why it is so difficult to solve a problem that could easily be solved with political will. The houses need regulation now, so that they can stop damaging the environment with uncontrolled emissions of waste, so that corrective measures can be applied and also so that a short-term solution is given to provide some form of legal certainty and that they can connect to basic services, as a matter of humanity.
The amendment will allow this for many thousands of these houses, allowing them to come out of the legal limbo in which they currently exist”.
Gerardo Vazquez adds “Lately I have heard voices saying that those affected are sneaky people who do not want to pay the same as those who bought a fully legal house. I would respond that those derogatory arguments do not fit the truth. Those affected, who can currently regularize their houses, thanks to previous amendments, are already paying as set out in the law and it isn´t cheap at all.
And moreover, there are many thousands of those affected in areas such as Chiclana and Carmona that have paid large sums of money for nothing. It is not that they do not want to pay, it is because they have not been given a solution. In a European country such as Spain and in the 21st century it is not morally acceptable to treat these families as third-class citizens, with no legal certainty, no adequate services and no environmental control, creating sub-standard areas of housing”.
Vazquez added, “I also must say that there are other voices who are trying to confuse the issue by saying that this is an amnesty, when it isn´t, because the AFO only gives a minimum form of recognition to these houses, but it does not make them legal. Becoming legal is the function of full planning procedures which they will still be subject to”.
According to AUAN, the amendment that will be the subject of a vote on 26th September, will permit groups of houses destined to be converted into urban areas, know as “asentamientos”, to have form of permission called an “AFO” whilst the planning process is ongoing. This would facilitate access to services more quickly, as well as giving these houses greater legal certainty.
They say that, in fact, these AFOs have been given to similar houses with much success after a legal reform in 2016, promoted at the time by the PSOE, which regularized similar groups of houses in a rural setting, and they say that it does not make sense to treat houses that will become fully legal in the future worse than houses in a rural setting that can never become so.
According to those affected the approval of this amendment requires a yes vote from Podemos, the party that has until now abstained from supporting the change, or from the PSOE, who have declared their opposition on various occasions now, for reasons that the affected cannot understand, and they hope that they will reconsider their position at the last minute.