Podem Xàbia organized a conference on the housing situation, in which Alejandro Aguilar, Autonomous Secretary of Housing and Social Function, appeared as the main speaker. The event was inaugurated by Juan López Vilaplana, candidate for mayor of the purple formation in Xàbia, who made a brief introduction and introduced the guest.
Aguilar began his speech by detailing the causes that have led to the current housing emergency situation in the region, noting that "people with modest salaries cannot access housing, whether to buy or rent." In addition, he reported that between 2007 and 2016 there were 125.074 evictions in the Valencian Community. "Although there is support for young and vulnerable people, it does not solve the problem in the long term," he said.
The solution to the housing problem, in the opinion of the Autonomous Secretary, involves increasing the public park and affordable rent. To this end, his Ministry has developed three lines of action at the regional level: a strategic plan for Housing and Architecture in the Valencian Community as a road map; a budget increase of 114% to strengthen the acquisition of public housing and unite the Xarxa d'Administracions Locals i Comarcals d'Habitatge (XALOC).
At the municipal level, there are also several action plans promoted by the Ministry of Housing, such as ADHA, the 100% subsidy for the expansion of the public housing park, the promotion of affordable rental housing, the own promotion of housing, the decree of Score and Retraction, Urban Regeneration Plans, among others. Aguilar lamented that the Javea Town Hall have not initiated any of these avenues to increase the affordable rental park.
The Autonomous Secretary stressed that the challenges for the future are to guarantee the social function of housing. "Measures have been taken, but it is essential that there be a state Housing law" to prevent rent increases and evictions, said the secretary. Aguilar insisted that this law should be done with a “scalpel, to differentiate between the owners who have a house for tourist rental to send their children to university, the English self-employed person who comes to live and work here, and large homeowners, vulture funds and large investors who buy and rent homes for the sole purpose of making a profit. In this context, Aguilar criticized the general lowering of the IBI in Xàbia.
In addition, he reported a friendly "complaint" from a friend of his from Gata, who said that "more and more people from Xàbia came to Gata because they cannot afford to live in Xàbia, displacing people from Gata to other towns because demand increases in Gata and they cannot afford to live there». In other words, people cannot be blamed, but it is the task of the administrations to regulate and stop the speculative and tourist use of housing.
Finally, the Autonomous Secretary closed his presentation defending: «We are in time to implement a new, fairer housing model that generates new economic, social and environmental wealth. This will only be achieved with the determined involvement of the public powers, who must regulate and curb the speculative and tourist use of housing. The conference was a success and the attendees hope that measures will continue to be taken to solve the housing emergency situation.