Mobilizing vacant private dwellings towards the affordable rental market “Borsa de Lloguer & Hàbitat 3” - Barcelona, Spain


These two initiatives allow for the mobilization of vacant private housing units towards affordable rental housing. Borsa de Lloguer is a mediation program by which the City offers landlords a rental income insurance, a residential multi-risk insurance, as well as support to make renovations in their units in exchange for rent caps for a certain period of time. Hàbitat 3 is a non-profit organization that manages rental units whose use has been temporarily signed over to the City in exchange for certain upgrades. Beneficiaries should be registered as Applicants of Social Housing in Barcelona Municipality which involve criteria related with income limitations or viability and sustainability of households’ applicants among others.


Issue tackled

By mobilizing vacant private housing units towards affordable rental housing, these two programs allow for an increase in the number of affordable units in the market, thus reducing upward price tensions, and providing affordable housing to a significant number of households. In addition, the focus on the renovation of vacant units allows for an improvement of the built environment, meeting accessibility standards, as well as of the social diversity of our neighborhoods. These programs link therefore renovation subsidies with rent caps indicators to avoid speculation and subsequent gentrification.

Actors involved

Barcelona Housing Consortium (local and regional governments), non-profit housing provider, renovation companies.


Actions carried out

Almost 1,100 units mobilized, renovated, and turned into affordable housing.


Improved access to housing for the beneficiaries, better rental income predictability for landlords, improved built environment meeting accessibility standards and socio-economic diversity.

Why it works/ lessons learnt

These programs are based on voluntary agreements that benefit both landlords and renters, as well as the City as a whole. Financially it is not an additional burden for the City since renovation subsidies were already available prior to the release of the program.

More information at

Credits: Institut Municipal de l’Habitatge i Rehabilitació de Barcelona

Spain Barcelona mobilization of vacant private housing affordable rental rental income insurance