The mayor of Barcelona promises to abolish vacation rentals

The mayor of the Spanish city of Barcelona has committed to eliminating short-term tourist rentals in the city within five years.

Socialist Jaume Collboni said at a press conference that he does not plan to renew any of the 10,101 tourist licenses granted to owners when they expire in November 2028.

Collboni said the apartments, which are currently advertised on platforms such as Airbnb and Homeaway, would be available to locals.

Politicians who opposed the measure accused it of undermining property rights.

Collboni stated that the measure would be equivalent to building 10,000 new homes.

Justifying the plan, he said rents had increased by 70% in the last 10 years and had become unaffordable.

“More housing supply is needed and the measures we present today are to provide more supply,” he added.

Barcelona has struggled with a limited housing supply for years.

Politicians blame high rates of tourism, as well as the city’s growing status as a technology hub that attracts foreign workers.

New construction has not kept pace with increased demand, driving up prices.

Reacting to Collboni’s announcement, some left-wing councilors said 2028 was too far in the future for people they said were being pushed out of the city now.

Janet Sanz asked: “Can we wait until 2028?”

Right-wing politicians accused Collboni of undermining property rights.

“Barcelona City Council cannot resemble the Bolivarian regime,” wrote the leader of the Barcelona Popular Party, Dani Sirera, referring to the Venezuelan government, accused of expropriating property.

The Association of Tourist Apartments of Barcelona stated that the change would lead to the illegal rental of apartments to tourists.

The policy was a “smokescreen” to hide the failure of Collboni’s housing policy, he added.

In recent months, thousands of people have protested in parts of Spain, including the Canary Islands, against the effects of mass tourism, which they say is damaging the environment and driving out locals.

Leave a Comment