Parliament regularizes 25,000 illegal dwellings out of 300,000 existing dwellings

Around 25,000 homes currently classified as illegal will be regularized, according to data from the Regional Ministry of the Environment and Territorial Planning, thanks to the amendment of the Andalusian Urban Planning Law (LOUA). This figure represents around 9% of the constructions built in restricted areas, since at least 300,000 homes are in this situation scattered throughout Andalusia, although with important focal points in areas of Cadiz, Malaga and Almeria.

This reform modifies three articles of the LOUA and benefits isolated residential buildings built on undeveloped land. The debate on this initiative, supported by the Socialist government at the end of the last legislature, has been going on for a year. Finally, it was approved yesterday thanks to the support of Ciudadanos (C’s) and PP. Podemos and IU chose to abstain.

The homes benefiting from the modification of the law will be able to regularize their situation if they meet three conditions: they must be at least six years old, not be located in flood zones or areas of special protection and not be affected by administrative proceedings. Once regularized, the owners will be able to register the properties in the land registries and have access to electricity and water services in a normalized manner.

Owners must urgently adopt corrective measures to eliminate possible landscape or environmental impacts, especially on water resources, caused by the building. The regularization of dwellings built on plots of land that have the status of settlements will be carried out with their incorporation into the urban planning.

The municipalities are now obliged to initiate within two years the drafting of the advance planning to incorporate the new dwellings that have been regularized.

The president of the Junta, Susana Díaz, assured that thanks to the “good news” of the approval of the law “many Andalusians will breathe a sigh of relief to know that they will have certainty in their homes, which is what this initiative was all about”. Diaz recalled that the amendment of the LOUA is “a commitment” that he adopted in the last legislature and could not get ahead to conclude ahead of time.

The popular deputies voted in favor, but not before showing their dissatisfaction with the lack of ambition of the legislative modification. Nor did it help that the House rejected all the PP and Podemos amendments that had made it to the final debate.

The PP’s deputy Patricia Navarro regretted that only four of the nearly 20 amendments that her party had submitted to the initiative were accepted, which has caused the law to remain “light years away from what Andalusia needs”. In addition, Navarro described the new regulation as “botched” and “cowardly because it does not represent an end to the problem”. The PP insisted on showing solidarity with the families living in the 275,000 homes that the new law continues to “ignore”.

C’s, for its part, showed its agreement with the modification, but alerted the Junta and the PSOE if it would not be better to draft a new law instead of “patching up” the existing one.

Podemos justified its abstention on the grounds that the initiative only solves the problem of 25,000 families, which creates “inequalities”. The purple formation also warned that the lack of action by the Andalusian Government is causing “illegal constructions to spread like a cancer, creating important social, environmental, economic, administrative and even criminal conflicts”.

IU did not want to support the measure because it believes that it is the result of an “electoral robbery” by the president of the Junta, who announced it only to take advantage in the last Andalusian elections.

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