For a week now, a mother and her three children have been breathing a little easier. The pandemic, like everyone else, has taken its toll on them, but in their case it has been such that they have been on the verge of losing their home. The intervention of the Santa Cruz City Council has paralyzed the mortgage eviction that was scheduled for Thursday of last week. The activation of the Anti-Eviction Protocol, a measure in which Santa Cruz was a pioneer ten years ago, allowed the bank that owns the property to agree to negotiate a social rent.
Through this mediation, more than 200 evictions have been paralyzed since 2012. “This neighbor of the capital had a date for the launch and, thanks to the Protocol, which we once again see works and is effective, the paralysis of said eviction was achieved. We are in talks with the bank, with which there is a possibility that the final outcome will be that of a social rental”, the councilor for Social Action of Santa Cruz, Rosario González, explains to DIARIO DE AVISOS. In this specific case, she details, “she is a known user, with whom we have been working for a long time and, when we received the notification from the court, we acted through the emergency route.” “The new team to deal with emergencies -she continues-, allowed us to begin negotiations through them. At first, the bank itself contacted us as a result of receiving the mayor’s letter, which is generated when the Protocol is launched, in which it is requested that it be paralyzed and that these measures be taken ” .
In 2012, the Santa Cruz City Council was the first in Spain to implement this Anti-Eviction Protocol in the city. Ten years have passed and, from those first interventions, fundamentally related to mortgage defaults, those of rent have predominated. At the moment, “since the IMAS we have been having between 10 and 15 monthly actions related to vulnerability due to loss of housing (mortgage, rent, evictions and loss of housing in general). We mainly write the reports for the court with the aim of paralyzing this type of eviction, but we also mediate, if possible, between the parties,” says González.
The delegate councilor of the IMAS admits that, when intervening to mediate an eviction, “with the banking entities the relationship is more fluid, it is more common for us to reach social rental agreements, the problem comes when they belong to a vulture fund, there yes it is much more complicated to exercise this mediation, because they constantly change the person responsible. Unfortunately, every day we find fewer properties that belong to banks and more that belong to funds”.
González indicates that, when the Protocol begins, it works in several ways. “On the one hand, we have the action of social services through the preparation of social vulnerability reports for the paralysis of the launches, while, on the other hand, it is the mayor himself who addresses the owner bank so that paralyze and negotiate, and all that goes together, while we are working with the user”.