After residents campaigned hard for many years for their Andalusian homes to the regularised, the Spanish government is now questioning the Andalusian Decree. Furthermore, the government may challenge it before the Constitutional Court.
327,000 homes were built illegally, but many expats were duped into buying these homes, thinking that they were legal and had a connection to water and electricity. In September of this year and after years of campaigning by communities and activist groups such as AUAN (Abusos Urbanísticos Andalucía) , the homeowners were granted a reprieve by the Junta de Andalucia in the form of Decree 3/2019.
The Decree meant that the illegally built properties could be both territorially and environmentally adapted. Homeowners can currently register the property at the Land Registry and legally access services.
The legislations mean that homes older than six years that were built on either flood risk or protected land could receive a special AFO status. AFO stands for Assimilado al Regimen de Fuera de Ordenacion.
However, despite the Decree, the ruling may be overturned. This is because the European Union has declared that there may be actions against Spain for inadequate sewage treatment from homes. In Andalucía, there are thousands of properties that the European Union believe are without adequate sanitation.
There is a concern that people are using water contaminated with faecal matter in many places, and this could lead to a health epidemic.
Gerardo Vazquez advisor to AUAN and spokesperson for the National Coordinating Committee for Justice in Planning said of the government’s position of reversing the decision; “It is not only an environmental issue; we are talking about the most basic rights of people, the right to a home, to a residence and to a house; and this are real issues, not paper theories. It is not only the environment; it is people’s lives.”
It is hoped with more campaigning that the Spanish government will not consider annulling the decree for the sake of the health and welfare of residents.
Image Credit: AUAN
January 14, 2021