Housing system and welfare state. The Spanish case within the European context

Jordi Bosch, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Carme Trilla, Barcelona Metropolitan Housing Observatory
Adaptation: Xavier Aguilar

From 1952 to date, in Spain over 6.8 million homes have been built with some kind of subsidy. This represents 26% of the total of the housing stock (estimated at 25.5 million homes). However, this housing stock has gradually passed over into private hands and the public sector has not been able to equip itself with subsidised residential resources to cater for the needs of successive generations. Today, the potential demand for social housing is calculated at 1.5 million homes and, in accordance with demographic projections, this could rise to 2.6 million by the year 2030.
Key points
  • 1
       In 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%.
  • 2
       Looking specifically at the rental market segment, the rate of overburden of the population in general stands at 42.1%, the highest in Europe.
  • 3
       In 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.
  • 4
       In 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.
Housing as part of public spending
Housing as part of public spending

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.

Classification

Authors

Jordi Bosch , Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Carme Trilla , Barcelona Metropolitan Housing Observatory
Adaptation: Xavier Aguilar

Tags

Thematics

Related contents

Report

Housing

What social challenges does decent housing represent in Spain? This report analyses three challenges in this field: access, conditions and energy needs.

Dossier

Housing: right or commodity?

The seventh Dossier from the Social Observatory of ”la Caixa” focuses on the residential insecurity faced by society’s most vulnerable groups, and access to housing for young people.

Article

Why are young people unable to access home ownership?

Employment precarity is an obstacle to accessing home ownership for young people. Rental, which is more expensive, or family solidarity are the main alternatives for setting up a home.

Infodata

Difficulties in access to housing

In 2017, some 42.1% of people devoted more than 40% of their disposable income to paying the rent. What does this mean in the European context?

Infodata

Public investment in housing

In 2015, the percentage of social rental houses in Spain stood at 2.5%, which is very low. Which EU countries have the largest volume of social housing?

You may also like

Dossier

Tackling child poverty

Tackling child poverty

Social Inclusion

To what point do poverty and material deprivation affect the households in which children live? The eighth Dossier from the Social Observatory of ”la Caixa” analyses the relationship between child poverty and its consequences, such as health problems, academic failure and social mobility difficulties. 

Interview

“Inequality is a threat to democracy because it deprives poor people of their rights”

“Inequality is a threat to democracy because it deprives poor people of their rights”

Social Inclusion

Janet Currie, a worldwide authority in the analysis of the effects of socioeconomic differences, explains the correlation between family income levels and school outcomes.

Best practices

CaixaProinfancia Programme

CaixaProinfancia Programme

Social Inclusion

The CaixaProinfancia programme supports families in a situation of poverty with academic reinforcement, grants for food and hygiene, leisure, psychotherapeutic care and family educational support.