Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Guerra Incivil Español

It's the authorities against the poor, in Barcelona;
Rosa María Sánchez is typical of many low-income residents in Barcelona, saying that being able to rent out rooms has given her a lifeline. “There are many similar cases, and worse than mine, of elderly people who are only able to pay their bills thanks to this income,” she says. Barcelona’s hotel association estimates that there are some 12,000 such apartments renting out rooms without permission.
In response to what they see as the regional government’s heavy-handed approach, a small group of Barcelona residents who rent out rooms in their properties have begun to get organized. Last week they read out an open letter to Barcelona’s Mayor Xavier Trias at a gathering in the city center: “Sharing their home helps the people of Barcelona earn a little extra to pay their bills and continue living in the neighborhood they love.”
A report commissioned by Airbnb – put together by Dwif Consulting, in conjunction with the ESADE and IESE business schools – shows that 60 percent of people offering rooms in their apartments used the money they earned “to pay their utilities bills” and that 53 percent have been able to pay their mortgage as a result.
Money Barcelona's hotels want for themselves. Which seems short-sighted of them. It's unlikely many of those 12,000 tourists will make much of an impression on the revenues of the hotels, but might just dispel a little of the charm of the city. That can't be good for the tourist industry.

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