regional politics

Seville authorities to inspect eligibility of rehoused squatters

City inspectors will determine whether families will be able to keep their new subsidized homes

Squatter families who were evicted after two years decided to camp out in front of Seville City Hall last week.
Squatter families who were evicted after two years decided to camp out in front of Seville City Hall last week.julián rojas

The crisis over the relocated families in Seville is not quite over. After Andalusia’s ruling coalition of Socialists and United Left (IU) nearly broke down last week, both sides are now trying to save face by letting eight at-risk families stay in the subsidized homes they were suddenly awarded on Wednesday, by commissioning reports that will attest that they truly have the right to be there.

The Andalusian government said it would petition Seville Mayor Miguel Ángel Vázquez, of the Popular Party (PP), to analyze the personal situation of the eight families who were handed keys to subsidized homes by IU officials, who are in charge of the regional public works and housing department.

The Socialists, who hold a majority in the regional parliament, reacted in anger, and premier Susana Díaz temporarily took away IU’s power to award public housing. The party even suggested there might have been abuse of power on IU’s part, as it failed to respect official waiting lists for subsidized homes.

The inspectors will have to analyze the situation of nine other families

Because the 17 original recipient families had been squatting in a bank-owned property for two years before being evicted, and decided to camp out in front of City Hall in protest, the Socialists said they felt it sent a message that anyone in Andalusia can get a rent-controlled home if they “bang on the door.”

Now, Seville’s social services will have to confirm whether the eight families that were ultimately allowed to stay in their new homes meet requirements, such as being at high risk of social exclusion.

Additionally, the inspectors will have to analyze the situation of the nine other families whose fast-track relocation has been suspended until further evidence of their pressing need is provided.

The city of Seville said on Sunday that it had still not received any official request for reports from the regional government, while the Andalusian housing department would not comment on the case.

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