Not even the mediation of the new left-wing mayor of Cádiz and four of his councilors was enough to prevent a home eviction on Monday morning in the southwestern Andalusian city.
The police physically removed the councilors and other protestors from the site before carrying out their eviction order against a family of tenants who had stopped meeting their monthly payments after their rent-control lease ran out.
City officials have taken the family to a local hostel until a solution can be found.
“Hunger first,” said González during the campaign run before the municipal and local elections of May 24
“This is not a defeat. It is a problem going back many years,” said Mayor José María González, who ran with a leftist coalition named Por Cádiz Sí Se Puede (For Cádiz Yes We Can), and which included the emerging anti-austerity party Podemos.
González, also known popularly by his nickname “Kichi,” is one of several new leftist mayors who have made the fight against home evictions a priority issue. In Barcelona, former social activist Ada Colau stopped two evictions on her first day on the job, while Madrid’s Manuela Carmena also mediated in a foreclosure.
In Cádiz, the mayor had offered the owners of the property a month’s rent to gain some time and find a housing solution. But the deal was rejected and officials went ahead with the eviction procedures against the Moreno family.
The father, Antonio, is ill and receives a disability check. He and his wife have a 16-year-old daughter. An earlier attempt at vacating the premises was prevented 20 days ago by a group of activists.
The family had been living in the same apartment for the last 25 years, paying low rent because of their old contract conditions. But when the lease ran out, the new rent was too much for Moreno’s checks to cover. The owners then moved to have them evicted.
“The family will not end up sleeping on the streets,” said Mayor González after seeing the Morenos off en route to a city hostel.