Kicked out of a holiday resort with the commitment to come back and compelled to finance the dismantling of the construction 32 years later

A framed photograph of the kitchen in the eleven-story IDERS building in Puerto de La Cruz, the bustling tourist hub in northern Tenerife, is still treasured by Milagros. “Out of the blue, we were displaced,” she recalls with sorrow, but notes they were assured of being able to return within a year and a half. It was February 1992, and back then, the City Council justified the eviction by citing aluminosis affecting the building, deeming it “unfit for habitation.” Over 32 years have elapsed since that fateful day, and now, after countless pleas and an arduous struggle, at 81 years old, Milagros is determined to see how this case unfolds, as it continues to cause distress to many impacted individuals while the building deteriorates, yet still stands. “I will never give up the fight,” she declares. Like her, a hundred owners were suddenly deprived of their properties, from residences to commercial spaces (the first to be shut down).

The ordeal for the building’s inhabitants commenced in March 1991 when a crack and a ceiling collapse in premises number three were discovered. For months, numerous meetings were convened, and a technical assessment recommended vacating the commercial spaces and conducting inspections on the remaining floors. After the entire building was ordered to be evacuated, a committee was established to explore potential solutions a year later. As time passed, some families opted to sell their homes to a local entrepreneur who now owns over 30% of the building, situated on a highly speculative plot. Conversely, other residents persisted in their quest to have the property restored. In this pursuit, they sought the expertise of specialists in the rehabilitation of affected constructions, who provided a completely different perspective (according to their reports, the structure is sound, with damages concentrated on the ground, first, and ninth floors).

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