“Sour victory” against the expulsion of 18 families from a block in the south of Madrid

On the day the new housing law came into force, a strike by Justice officials this morning prevented the eviction of La Dignidad, a block of flats in Móstoles that had been squatted since 2014, in the midst of the tidal wave of the real estate crisis , and in which 18 families without resources reside today. Dozens of volunteers from collectives against evictions and for the right to housing have accompanied the families from the day before until the announcement of the suspension of expulsions at mid-morning.

The trickle of evictions continues in Madrid despite the social shield

The trickle of evictions continues in Madrid despite the social shield


It is a “sour victory”, in the words of the residents’ lawyer, Sol García, because the suspension is only technical and does not depend on finding alternative accommodation for those affected, as they claim and requested various opinions from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The case of the La Dignidad block, located in a residential neighborhood that rises parallel to the Móstoles train station, is archetypal of the lack of control that preceded the bursting of the housing bubble in 2008. Finished and without a certificate of occupancy, with the A bankrupt developer, it was abandoned for years until it was squatted in 2014. Since then, it has served as a solution for families in emergency situations, and even the Red Cross has directed desperate people there, as if it were another public resource. Assumed ownership by Sareb, the bad public bank, auctioned off the building and now in the hands of an investment fund, the eviction procedure has accelerated in recent months, even with the frustrated intervention of a private company specialized in emptying flats .

Ana Jiménez, 39, has lived in the block since 2014 and now acts as an unofficial spokesperson for the residents. Most are locked in a dead-end circuit to find housing: health problems that prevent them from working and that worsen their situation, minimum income that does not allow them to access a rent, impossibility of access to a social apartment of the City Council -the 600 of that Móstoles has tenants and the waiting list is large—and excluded from opting for those of the Community of Madrid because they are immersed in cases of burglary.

This is the case with José Antonio García Mendoza, 71, known throughout the world as ‘Papi’, who spent years living on the street, earning tips from the sculptures he made in the Plaza Mayor with the toilet paper he collected in the rooms. bathroom from El Corte Inglés. Papi is missing a lung. “A poorly cured cold,” he explains from outside the block, an emergency soldier to prevent the entry of the riot police, who ultimately do not show up. Even so, Papi is pessimistic. “Things are worse,” he says.

A door ajar by the court

The Investigating Court number 1 of Móstoles half-opens the door in its latest communication for the eviction to be suspended, as long as Social Services proposes an alternative that satisfies the residents. But to date, the possible aid is only temporary stays in shelters or subsidies to start paying rents that are out of the reach of the neighbors.

The Móstoles municipal plenary session approved a motion in 2016 urging the local government to “do everything possible” to regularize squats as social rentals, but that commitment has not saved La Dignidad. Real estate speculation makes solutions difficult. In the Mirabel bar, next to the block, on the other side of the train tracks, the parishioners comment that two-bedroom apartments are already available for 900 euros, that many people are leaving for Humanes, increasingly far from the Madrid of the bright lights.

Source: elDiario.es – elDiario.es by www.eldiario.es.

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