Within the UIA project ‘Yes, We Rent!‘ the city of Mataró, a city of 127,000 inhabitants 34 km north-east of Barcelona at the Costa del Maresme, tackles the challenge of “people without flats and flats without people”. There are about 2.800 private owned vacant flats in Mataró. Owners leave these properties empty due to different reasons: among others because they do not have the resources to renovate them or are afraid of tenants not paying the rent (and it is very difficult and takes a long time to evict “rental nomads”). Speculation may also be a reason for leaving the flats empty.
At the same time, there is a low number of affordable rental flats for households that both, are not eligible for social housing and cannot afford to buy a flat (as is typical in Spain). These households are increasing that can barely afford the rents on the housing market. Thus, the city of Mataró has set up a support and incentive scheme to reactivate private vacant flats for the housing market below average rental market price to households in need of affordable housing.
One important part of the project is to use the renovation of the vacant flats to train labour skills of vulnerable young adults to improve their chances on the job market. This is important, as youth unemployment is one of the segments that has suffered the most from the negative impact of the economic crisis in 2008.
The training of a group of 12 young adults had started in October 2019 by the non-profit organisation Salesian Mataró, an organisation working in social education and capacity building of children, problematic teenagers and adults. The goal of this part of the ‚Yes, we rent!’ project is to train 24 vulnerable young adults in basic renovation works, provide them with practical work experience and by this improve their chances on the job market. At the end of the project, 12 of the trained adolescents are supposed to have entered the labour market.
The 1st round of training has finished in July 2020, despite the Corona adversities. The experiences from the first round are presented in this 'zoom in’.
For further information on the ‘Yes, we rent!’ project: