The association of People Affected by Mortgages (PAH) has occupied its first building in the Valencian Community

PAH 19jun13

The Torrevieja branch of the Plataforma de Affectados por la Hipoteca has ‘recovered’ a building from the SabadellCAM bank to let evicted families live there

On Thursday morning the Torrevieja PAH has occupied a building that has been uninhabited for the last six years and is owned by the estate agent Solvia, which is part of the SabadellCAM bank.

The block of 12 homes, of which 10 are in habitable condition, is located on Calle Caballero de Rodas and will house 10 evicted families at serious risk of social exclusion. The leaders of the association explained to the media that before occupying the building they contacted the bank to negotiate a subsidised rental and that ‘it is not the intention of these residents to occupy the homes without paying and without respecting private property’, but that as they understand it, buildings that are unoccupied and abandoned by banks that have been rescued with public money should provide an answer to the serious housing problem being suffered by thousands of families who are affected by the serious economic crisis across the country.

The association’s lawyers have classified this occupation as a ‘non-legal recourse’ that will provide a quick solution to these families’ problem. At the moment four families have moved into the building but it is hoped that other families in the same situation will be able to recover more apartments over the next few days.

Antonio Padilla, president of another association Stop Desahuicios (Stop Evictions) Torrevieja, explained that the homes were already open when they went in and had been vandalised, as wiring, doors and fittings had been stolen form them. He also noted the families have asked the bank for an account number into which they can make contributions as a symbolic form of rent that might cover their situation.

This act is part of a national social work campaign by PAH that aims to recover disused homes owned by banks that have been bailed out for families without resources. According to a statement from the association, it is the first of the campaign in the Valencian Community and is intended to give an ‘answer to a generalised housing state of emergency’.

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