Housing will be a major issue at the elections. | Archive

The Proinba property developers association is accusing the whole political class in the Balearics - all political parties - of a failure to take "decisive action" to solve housing problems on the islands. The public authorities, the association maintains, have to shoulder most of the blame for having been unable to prevent a situation that has been warned of for years.

Luis Martín, the association's president, said on Thursday that "there is no land available". "All developable land with the possibility of building affordable housing has been removed. Sufficient aid is not given to buyers and the administrative process continues to slow everything down." Meanwhile, he pointed out, developers pay millions of euros in charges are not reflected in services provided - certainly not in reducing the waiting time to start building.

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"We cannot spend two years waiting for a licence, that makes the final price more expensive. We have to comply with everything the law says, while they only have to comply with one thing - process the licences in three months. It's the only thing that the authorities have to do, but they don't." Developers pay some 20 million euros a year in fees. This is what is paid "for this work to be done". But this money doesn't have any direct impact on facilitating activity by reducing waiting times through improving resources or increasing staff.

"Political consensus" is needed to, among other things, change the model of urban development and allow taller buildings. "Let's not cut down more almond trees, let's build up. The land is limited, the sky is not."

Although Proinba is critical of all political parties, it has made an observation about the government since 2015. Recent controversies surrounding rent caps and restrictions on non-resident buyers "are smokescreens" that seek to "divert the focus of attention and cover eight years of bad housing policy".