Housing system and welfare state. The Spanish case within the European context
1In Spain, 38.4% of families with lower incomes (first quintile of income) are in a situation of overburden (households in which the cost of the mortgage or rental represents over 40% of total income). Among households in the second quintile, this rate falls to 11%, while for the total population the average stands at 19.8%.
2Looking specifically at the rental market segment, the rate of overburden of the population in general stands at 42.1%, the highest in Europe.
3In Spain, there are some 276,000 social rental dwellings, which represents just 1.5% of the housing pool. Historically, public action has prioritised access to ownership through state-subsidised housing sales.
4In Spain, investment in housing policies is at the lower end of the European comparison: it receives only 0.9% of the total budget for social affairs, which represents 0.23% of GDP.
Spending on social protection represents 39.9% of total public spending. Within this section of the budgets, there is very little margin for spending on social housing, which represents only 0.1% of total public spending.
Low social spending on housing causes imbalances that overburden other welfare state benefits, which in turn affects the state coffers. Not having a decent and appropriate place to live with regard to physical and economic conditions has a negative effect on health, on children’s educational development and on the needs for assistance and social services for the most vulnerable people in the dwelling.