AUAN spent a marathon day in the Parliament of Andalucía on Wednesday 8th of June 2016 to promote a speedy implementation of a change to the Planning Laws (LOUA) to provide a way forward for thousands, although not all, irregular houses.
The meetings in parliament were attended by the president of AUAN, Maura Hillen, the association’s spokesperson, Gerardo Vázquez, and representatives of other groups from other parts of Andalucía, including SOHA from Malaga, coordinated within the Andalusian Confederation for Planning Legalization (CALU).
According to Gerardo Vázquez ‘ we were very pleased with the reception given by the various political groups to those affected and we understand that they are going to make an effort to ensure that the planned change in the LOUA is approved in July. In fact we understand a paper will be issued to the Commission of Planning next Tuesday regarding the proposed amendments to the bill which will reactivate the process.
With regard to the request of the associations for an interim solution for houses without water and electricity, he said ‘I believe that all parties want to provide a solution to this problem because it is not acceptable that there are thousands of people living in a European country without water fit for human consumption. Some of the federation members tell us that this situation has lasted for 30 years even though they are on urban land.
We are asking for a fast and simple measure, based on a PSOE amendment of 2012 which was ineffective at that time because the duration of this special measure was too short. Having discussed the matter in detail with the POSE, we understand that they believe that their latest proposed amendment regarding urbanisations awaiting legalisation via a town plan will provide the desired solution. Whilst we are not convinced of this, our priority is to get this bill approved whilst at the same time not losing hope that there will be a change of position and that a clearer, simpler and faster solution to the issue of interim services will be provided within the current bill’.
As for the request of the collectives for the formation of a working party within parliament which would include representatives of the estimated 300,000 illegal houses in Andalucia, Sr. Vazuez said ‘we understand that in general the political groups do not think that this is a crazy idea, given that more dialogue and participation is required in the society of today. However, we believe that the socialist group is not totally convinced that this is either necessary or workable and they say that they are open to dialogue and to facilitate solutions, a statement that in our experience we have found to be true. We will continue this discussion after the approval of the change to the LOUA, because this is the top priority for our association given that we believe that the bill will solve many of the problems of those affect, at least in the Valle del Almanzora.’
He concluded by saying ‘ I have always said that we have confidence in our political groups and we hope to continue to work with them to provide solutions for the difficult situation that thousands of families in Andalucía are obliged to live with every day. For now we hope that the next time that we go to the Parliament of Andalucía will be in July to witness the approval of the bill and to applaud and congratulate the legislators’.
From the AUAN.