• PAH says Colau falls short of pledge to stop evictions
• Group demands greater effort to turn vacant flats into emergency housing
An anti-eviction organization that formed part of the activist movement propelling Barcelona mayor Ada Colau to office in May has sent a strongly worded letter to the new mayor criticizing her for failing to halt evictions of tenants and guarantee emergency housing as promised during her campaign.
Calling on the activist mayor to show “political courage” to do more to halt evictions in the city, the Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca (PAH, ‘Platform of Those Impacted by the Mortgage Crisis’) said her administration had not exhausted all necessary means to stem the problem. The group singled out the city’s failure to ensure that more of the 2,951 flats it said had been left abandoned as a result of the mortgage debt crisis be made available to families in need of housing.
The PAH letter reminded Colau that as a result of anti-eviction pressure, the Catalan parliament unanimously approved a law in 2015 calling for emergency action to stem the housing crisis and municipal governments should be applying the law.
The letter further criticized Colau for not having followed through on her pledges to fine real estate investors and banks for the continued eviction of tenants and owners of flats that are behind on their mortgage payments.