Housing

Evictions are state violence and institutional theft

Yesterday morning, police carried out the eviction of Manuela and Jesus, and their four small children (9, 8, 2 and 1) from their Vallecas flat where they had lived for seven years. The family initially occupied the flat because they couldn’t afford to rent anywhere and, despite having two toddlers at the time, were not granted social housing. The flat they chose to occupy belongs to CaixaBank, with which the family tried to negotiate without success.

Understanding evictions in Spain

Let's start with an example. In 2010, Elisabet heard about a flat in a social housing block in Lavapiés that had sat empty for five years. She broke in, changed the locks, and made it her family home. With three children, now aged 14, 15 and 23, she was recently handed an eviction notice by the council telling her to move out.

Madrid welcomes back La Ingobernable – this time, in an abandoned city centre hotel

On Sunday, 2 May, the night before the Madrid election, a group of activists broke into a derelict hotel in the centre of Madrid. Upon entering, they found 112 abandoned en-suite bedrooms, a decaying Andalusian patio, three large salons with a hundred wooden chairs, a sturdy stainless steel kitchen and an overall perfect space to build the youngest generation of social project La Ingobernable (The Ungovernable).

The Cañada Real: “Electricity is not a privilege, it’s a right”

On 2 October, a power outage left around 1,000 houses in a Madrid neighbourhood without electricity. Almost 60 days later, the lines have still not been repaired – a situation that seems hard to believe, except for the fact that this neighbourhood is Sector 6 of the Cañada Real.

Madrid’s poorest neighbourhoods are still condemned by their ancient invisible borders

Zoom out of Madrid on Google satellite view and red clusters begin to emerge. Between grey, gridded avenues and barren parks, see clusters of winding narrow streets with red roof tiles and tiny plazas, which were once independent towns with their own culture, economy and architecture. Today, even though they lie well within the city limits of Madrid, they remain different.

Welcome to the homeless camp on Paseo del Prado

Around 150 people are currently sleeping rough on Paseo del Prado. Since February this year, a homeless community of activists have been camping out on one of Spain's most prestigious streets in protest for visibility, safety, security and access to affordable housing, and to end all homelessness in Spain.

Madrid’s anti-eviction warriors

I’d heard on the radio that there was going to be an eviction at 11 am, just a five-minute walk from where I lived. I turned on TeleMadrid and their cameras were already there. I put on my coat, grabbed my camera and said to my other half, “look out for me on the TV”.

Madrid’s hidden city slums

Under the first beam of sunlight on 3 October, diggers began tearing through people's bedroom walls. By mid afternoon, around 50 makeshift homes had been razed to the ground, and around 80 people had been moved on.