Beating Affordable Housing Out Of Cities. After the Carrot Comes The Stick.

View over rooftops of seaside city of Barcelona
Barcelona photo by Sean MacEntee is licensed under CC BY 2.0
As Barcelona's affordable housing vanishes, city gets serious with empty housing owners.

With the coronavirus pandemic has come a remarkable downturn in tourism. This has crimped the style of high-flying Short Term Rental (SRT) landlords, who have over the last few years been stripping rental stock away from city workers in favour of fly-by-night tourist accommodation.

Some regions have taken advantage of this turn around in the fortunes of the short term rental market. How best to encourage landlords of any and every kind to choose longer term rental that would help local workers?

There’s the carrot.  And then there’s the stick.

One of our recent posts explored Lisbon’s “carrot” approach to enticing landlord to turn their focus away from SRTs and towards to city workers: Lisbon’s Answer To High Rents For Essential Workers

Barcelona, by contrast, is looking around at too many empty apartments in the city, held for whatever reasons away from the local long-term housing market, and made it clear it’s no longer a time to play Mr. Nice Guy. They’re threatening the “stick.”

Read more at Bloomberg CityLab: Barcelona’s Latest Affordable Housing Tool: Seize Empty Apartments