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Financial Dictionary - Subsidised housing

Subsidised housing

Subsidised properties (VPO) are promoted by the Government and have lower prices than similar properties on the free market.

Subsidised housing is designed to help people from disadvantaged backgrounds to own their own home (usually, lower-income households): young people, elderly people, minority groups, etc.

These properties have to meet certain requirements in terms of dimensions and maximum rental or rental prices. These will initially be put down in the form of a provisional qualification and subsequently in the form of a definitive qualification. In return, the developer (which may be a public, private or self-promotion company or cooperative) should manage to get certain grants to offset these limitations.

What types of subsidised housing (VPO) are there in Spain?

Each autonomous community determines its own types of subsidised housing, although certain types may be established based on the qualification. They may be homes intended for sale; as a surface right; in general rental for 10 or 25 years, and especially for 25; for rent to buy; to be rented for senior citizens; and to be rented for young people.

What requirements are there to be eligible for subsidised housing (VPO)?

To be eligible for subsidised housing, you have to fulfil a series of requirements that will be in force during the entire period of the subsidised housing regime. These conditions will depend on the municipality and autonomous community where they are located, and on the legislation in force at the time of provisional qualification.

The National Housing Plan (2008-2021) also establishes general requirements, such as that the subsidised homes must be for primary and permanent residence; the buyer does not intend to use them to make a profit, i.e.: they can't be rented our or sold); applicants can’t have already had a subsidised property; their household income is low; they do not own a property on the free market; and they must be registered in the autonomous community where they are applying for the subsidised property, and registered in the register of applicants in that community.

What happens when a subsidised property is removed from the subsidised property register?

The Housing Plan decrees a certain period time during which the property will be subsided, and after that time is up, it will be considered to be free. At that point, as they are now free properties, the former conditions will no longer be applied. The period is usually ten years and in that time the property cannot be sold or rented out. In some cases, the property can be removed from the subsidised property register before that period is up.

To remove this type of property from the subsidised property register, we have to wait for the deadline to pass and then apply for it to be removed in the official housing office in each autonomous community. Once this application is upheld, then we will have to pay back the subsidies we have received plus interests.