• Requests increased by 42% last year due to the expansion of the beneficiary group and management improvements
  • Nearly 2,000 families have already assigned a home and 1,767 have signed the contracts

The Social Housing Fund (FSV) has received 3,507 applications since its establishment in 2013 until the end of 2014, with an increase last year of 42%. This increase responds to the fact that a greater number of families can benefit from the FSV after the successive extensions of the requirements. There have also been improvements in management and greater knowledge on the part of potential beneficiaries; that is to say, those most affected by the crisis and who cannot face the mortgage payment.

The FSV was created in January 2013 with 5,891 homes contributed by banks to provide assistance to the most vulnerable families through reduced rents (between 150 and 400 euros per month, with a maximum limit of 30% of the income of the family unit) . It expired two years after its constitution (last January 17) but the Government has extended it one more year, until January 2016. It was established by agreement between the Ministries of Economy, Health and Development, the main credit institutions and their associations, the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP) and the Third Sector Platform.

The FSV is one of the measures, together with the Code of Good Practice (CBP) and the eviction moratorium, which the Government has implemented and which together have benefited more than 31,000 families. Last Friday, the Council of Ministers approved to make the requirements for access to the CBP more flexible to expand the group of beneficiaries and extend until May 2017 the suspension of launches on the habitual homes of these groups.

The Fund's data shows that 2,061 requests were received in 2014, 42% above the 1,446 registered in 2013. Overall, the requests total 3,507, of which 2,230 have been accepted; 1,003 rejected and 274 are pending examination. 1,969 applications have already been assigned housing and 1,767 contracts have been made (465 in 2013 and 1,302 in 2014, 280% more).

The increase in the number of requests and contracts in 2014 over 2013 responds to the relaxation of the requirements to be able to access one of these houses and the expansion of the groups that are eligible. It is also due to management improvements and greater knowledge on the part of potential beneficiaries.

Those who have been evicted from their habitual residence after January 1, 2008, due to a demand for foreclosure for non-payment of a mortgage loan can be included in the FSV. They must meet a series of financial requirements. Specifically, that the total annual income of the family unit does not exceed the limit of three times the Public Indicator of Multiple Effects Income calculated by 14 payments (22,365.42 euros in 2015).

In addition, they must meet other requirements, such as being a large family; have minors in charge; have someone disabled; that the debtor is unemployed and has exhausted benefits; victims of gender violence; and all those vulnerable people or family units for which housing is, according to the report of social services, an indispensable asset for the maintenance of their social inclusion.

In May 2014, it was agreed to expand the scope of the Fund to accommodate a greater number of families without the capacity to face the payment of rent on a market basis. With this modification, the possibility was opened for families to stay in the house they lived in even though they had lost it due to forced execution and even after it had been adjudicated. This option was also collected for payments in payment.

Likewise, families with children up to 18 years were included (until then the limit was 3 years); dependent or disabled (minimum 33% disability was removed); early retirees or retirees who would have guaranteed their children or grandchildren with their homes (this circumstance was not included) and other people in a non-classified situation but who are advised by social services. With this expansion of requirements, practically all groups with special needs derived from the crisis are included.

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