This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 320294

EU

A noteworthy aspect of the Right to housing

In Spain, European citizens have the same right of access to housing as Spanish nationals, provided they are registered on a municipal housing register, and under the same conditions and with the same standards as the latter. There are no differences with aid for nationals; i.e. in Autonomous programs for access to housing for young people.

Social housing in Spain is linked to emergencies rather than something that newly arrived foreigners  can avail of, which in fact represents a weakness of the system itself. Following local reform made by Law 27/2013 dated 27 December, municipal powers over local services have been reduced for municipalities with more than 20,000 residents to the evaluation and information regarding social situations and immediate need of people at risk of social exclusion, where the Autonomous Community are dealing with other tasks as well as housing policies. There may might be a greater difference in access to these policies depending on the region where the foreigner arrives, be it from the EU or another location, owing to nationality (a debatable question in itself), but one which is a necessary consequence of the exclusivity powers of the Autonomous Communities. There are also differences depending on the status of university students, both citizens of the EU and from outside the EU, who arrive to Spain because certain universities have programs and facilities (mainly residential) for accommodation for Erasmus students or other exchange programs, as well as for teachers and researchers, although what is available is neither widespread nor comparable, in terms of extension, foresight and excellence, in the case of teaching staff, with certain European universities which are paradigmatically receptive to the temporary incorporation of foreign researchers and teachers.

Conversely, despite the desire to witness a knock-on effect known in later years of immigration, which often begins illegally, the Spanish state and, in this case, the Autonomous Communities system, in the absence of competence in immigration matters, does not discriminate against non-EU citizens, particularly those  long-term registered residents (five years plus), when it comes to access and enjoyment of benefits and rights such as obtaining ordinary rent, following certain proceeding culminated in a draw, for decent housing or lines of funding from banks. On the contrary, these people can benefit from an not uncommon double protection, which in effect represents a positive discrimination: firstly, from the social services, and then, subsequent to obtaining residence, a drawn-out process in itself, from the equalization of Spanish and European citizenship when applying for housing or funding sources for the purchase of a property.