Podemos files a motion to regulate vacation rentals in Santa Cruz de Tenerife and prevent prices for residents from rising further

Unidas Podemos (Izquierda Unida-Podemos-Equo) will propose in the municipal plenary session of Santa Cruz de Tenerife this Friday, December 23, to initiate the procedures for the elaboration of an ordinance that regulates vacation rentals in the city, as well as to study, for its inclusion in this future regulation, measures that discourage large venture capital companies from investing in residential properties to use them with this type of accommodation.

In the explanatory statement of her proposal, the councilor Dolores Espinosa argues that the regulation of vacation rentals in residential areas constitutes a social necessity to prevent this non-hotel modality from triggering the increase in cost and scarcity of the residential real estate market, as well as avoiding coexistence problems. between tourist and residential use, among other factors.

In the Canary Islands, it is estimated that there are about 39,000 homes advertised as vacation rentals and Tenerife is the island with the highest number, 15,053 offered and 62,056 beds, while Santa Cruz has 1.19% of its homes dedicated to vacation rentals, according to data from 2020, so there is time in the capital to regulate this phenomenon, which tends to accelerate thanks to digital platforms, according to United We Can.

The councilor of the confluence of the left acknowledges that regulating this activity “is not being easy (as happened with the Regulation decreed by the Canary Islands Government in 2015) with litigation by vacation rental associations and court rulings that have forced to better define the scope and method of this regulation”, but maintains that “this is not an obstacle for different town halls in Spain to have approved ordinances on this matter, such as Barcelona, ​​San Sebastián and Bilbao; and, since 2020, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, where its General Planning Plan was modified to establish restrictions.

At present, the Canarian Government is processing a decree to approve a Regulation of Housing for Tourist Use.

The mayor stressed that the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) endorsed in 2020 requiring prior administrative authorization for the rental of residential homes to tourists, in order to guarantee a sufficient supply of those intended for long-term rental at affordable prices . And in Spain, the Supreme Court also agreed with the Bilbao City Council in its competence to regulate vacation rentals in its General Plan, since it ruled that a consistory “is legitimized and even obliged to promote the necessary urban planning that reconciles the satisfaction of the right to housing with the destination of certain homes to tourist accommodation, without the reasonable alternative of leaving the decision to the free will of the homeowners in the hands of the market, since this may endanger the right to housing of citizens, either due to the insufficiency of the resulting residential park, due to the increase in the cost of leases for residential purposes”.

Espinosa recalls that the mayor of Santa Cruz himself, José Manuel Bermúdez (CC), announced in 2018 an ordinance on this matter, although in 2020 the then Town Planning councilor, Carlos Tarife (PP), ruled out preparing it, but he did show himself willing to prevent large companies from taking over entire buildings and exploiting the flats as vacation rentals.

In this sense, Espinosa acknowledges that vacation rentals represent a complementary source of income for many Canarian families, although he warns of the need to especially stop large investors, who also do not reside in the city, using this non-hotel modality in residential properties.

It must be taken into account that, while the population of Tenerife does not stop growing, Santa Cruz loses inhabitants, and the main hypothesis to explain it has to do with the difficulty in accessing a home due to speculation in the real estate market, according to the Professor of Geography at the University of La Laguna Luis Jerez before the Parliamentary Commission on the demographic challenge and population balance in the Canary Islands.

To this must be added the worrying data on homelessness in Tenerife, which reflects a study carried out in 2021 by Cáritas Diocesana, which identified 2,738 people in a situation of extreme residential exclusion on the island, of which 1,000 are in Santa Cruz.

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