housing crisis

European Parliament votes in support of eviction bill

Measures to stem tide of house losses opposed by Popular Party

The European Parliament on Tuesday approved a report calling on governments within the EU to seek alternatives to eviction and adopt measures “that will prevent evicted families from continuing to make mortgage payments.”

The motion was carried by 318 votes to 269, with 52 abstentions. The Spanish Popular Party voted against the proposals. The Strasbourg chamber held a separate ballot on the paragraph in the text concerning dation in payment, which cancels a mortgage holder’s debt with the bank when the keys are handed over. Spanish legislation does not recognize dation in payment, which leaves many former homeowners in thrall to their mortgage payments even after foreclosure. The article was passed with 353 votes to 151, with 189 abstentions.

In passing the text, which is not legally binding, the parliament has laid out a demand to the European Commission and the 27 member states “to address the social drama that evictions represent for those worst affected by the economic crisis and unemployment.”

The document, drawn up by French MEP for Europe Ecology – The Greens Karima Delli, also calls for the ministers responsible for housing to meet “at least once a year” to debate “the repercussion of distinct European policies” on the matter.

There have been over 350,000 evictions in Spain since the crisis took hold in 2009.

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