Granadilla aims to convert 30 concrete skeletons into residential housing

  • Canarian Weekly
  • 17-04-2024
  • Tenerife
  • Photo Credit: Stock Image
Granadilla aims to convert 30 concrete skeletons into residential housing

The Granadilla de Abona Council have said that they consider it a "priority" to enable new housing and lower rents in the municipality for residents, which is the one with the highest percentage of population growth in recent years in Tenerife, to put a stop to the "decade's drama," as stated yesterday by the mayor, Jennifer Miranda, on Onda Tenerife radio.

In addition to being the first council in the South, and the second on the island (after La Orotava), to unanimously approve proposing to the government the declaration of a ‘stressed’ residential market zone, they have set out to go one step further in seeking short and medium-term solutions to tackle the housing crisis that has seen soaring rental and purchase prices.

The Council has set an ambitious roadmap for this term, with four main lines of action that are likely to spark debate, such as the expropriation of around thirty unfinished buildings, most of them located in San Isidro and further inland.

However, the first of these actions involves the transfer, already completed, of more than 3,000 square metres of land to the Canarian Institute of Housing to build public housing. It is now up to the Canarian government agency to present projects for these plots and award the construction works.

The second one was activated two months ago with the signing of an agreement with a company to complete the urbanisation and construction of two development units in Los Hinojeros.

"What we have achieved with this, is that 294 homes in the urban area that already have prior qualification as public housing will be completed and, once finished, will have regulated prices," explained Mayor Miranda. She considers the measure a "huge positive" as it will not only bring nearly 300 houses to the market but also provide a "clear boost" to the inland area in the South, as we are accustomed to seeing most of the population settle in coastal areas.

The third pillar of the plan will be to pay off, by mid-year, the loan of Sermugran, a public company in Granadilla that owns 70 houses in San Isidro. With this, the local government intends to return to reasonable rental prices and, moreover, make available another 10 vacant apartments at an affordable rent, around 350 to 400 euros. The tender for these homes will be announced in the next few weeks.

But undoubtedly, the most innovative aspect of the strategy to increase the supply of social housing, is to expropriate up to 30 buildings that were left half-built - mostly victims of the 2008 crisis - to rehabilitate them and allocate them to public housing, a pioneering measure in the Canary Islands "and possibly on a national scale," adds the mayor.

"Based on the ordinary regime of obligations of developers and landowners, as well as on the regime of forced expropriation, what we intend is, once the inventory of these concrete skeletons, held by banks or investment funds, is completed, to require the owners to complete these buildings based on the licenses granted at the time," she explained.

Granadilla aims to convert 30 concrete skeletons into residential housing


To do this, they will have various deadlines depending on the level of completion of each building. Those in a more advanced state are expected to have 12 months for completion, while structures with a lower level of construction will have more time.

"We must remember, and this is very important, that landowners, in this case, owners of buildings, have obligations. They not only have the right to build but also the obligation to finish construction. And we understand that, if they have not been completed, we have the competence for the subsidiary execution of the works and thus complete the buildings to make them available to the residents," emphasised Miranda.

Once the established deadlines have elapsed, it will be determined, based on "objective criteria," which buildings can proceed with the subsidiary execution of the works, to make more regulated-price homes available to the residents of Granadilla in approximately three years. "It will be a medium-term, phased process defined by the budgetary framework, hence the strategy we have launched includes the other three axes," she concluded.