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In Need of Housing, Barcelona Fines Landlords For Long-Vacant Buildings

The massive fines levied against the investment funds have been interpreted as a “declaration of war” from Mayor Ada Colau, who wants more affordable housing.
relates to In Need of Housing, Barcelona Fines Landlords For Long-Vacant Buildings
Regis Duvignau/Reuters

For some years now, Barcelona has been making a threat to landlords: If you don’t find tenants for your empty buildings, we will fine you.

The tone emerged as the city’s affordable housing crisis deepened, exacerbated in part by the fact that some buildings lie vacant even as housing has become more scarce. This month, however, the city has gone further than ever before to act on its threat, levying fines of €2.8 million ($3.17 million) against two investment funds that each own an unoccupied building in Barcelona’s center.