Basque Government promotes the development of 109 subsidised housing units in San Sebastian

Basque Government promotes the development of 109 subsidised housing units in San Sebastian
Txomin Enea new neighborhood in San Sebastian

Construction has begun on the building belonging to the Bizikide housing cooperative in the new Txomin Enea neighbourhood of San Sebastian. This project, promoted by the Basque Government's Department of Territorial Planning, Housing and Transport, includes 109 subsidised housing units under the system of transfer of use. This building is the last one to be constructed in the first stage of the development of the Txomin Enea neighbourhood.

The building permit was granted by the City Council more than three years ago; however, the start of construction has been delayed until now due to financing difficulties, which led several interested parties to withdraw from the project.

It is anticipated that the building will be completed in January 2026, at which point the second phase will commence, involving the transfer of the use of the flats to the members for a period of 75 years.

This project is part of the Basque Government's efforts to explore new alternatives for public housing. The model established allows the developer cooperatives to retain the surface right to the dwellings once they have been built, while the members only obtain the right of use, paying a monthly rent or fee for this.

Juan Casares, President of CONCOVI, as representative of the housing cooperatives in Spain, was present at the ceremony to lay the first stone of the project.

This approach seeks to promote housing for young people, improve access to housing, combat property speculation and encourage citizen participation, according to a statement issued by the Basque Government.

The Bizikide project, carried out by the Arrasate Taldea Group and part of the Federation of Housing Cooperatives-Bizicoop, marks the first housing initiative in the Basque Country. The Department of Housing highlights it as the most relevant experience with the greatest social impact in the Basque Country and in Spain, opening up the possibility of future housing developments based on this formula.

The event to lay the first stone was also attended by Gotzon Gondra, Secretary General of Bizikoop; Elena Pérez, Deputy Minister for Employment and Social Security; Pedro Jáuregui, Deputy Minister for Housing of the Basque Government; Patxi Olabarria, President of the Higher Council of Co-operatives of the Basque Country, and Pello Sologaistoa, Managing Director of the Arrasate Taldea Group.

This public-private partnership project seeks to prevent land speculation and is based on the transfer of a plot of land from the Basque Government to the cooperative for 75 years. The rights to the land and buildings belong to the cooperative, while the cooperative members benefit from the right of use. Thus, the dwellings and their outbuildings are not assigned to the members either as property, or on a leasehold or rental basis, in contrast to traditional models.

In addition to the monthly fee, the members will contribute to the 30-year loan (capital plus interest), which the cooperative has obtained from Abanca to finance the construction.

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