The mayor of Ibiza, Rafa Triguero, met this Tuesday in Can Botino with the coordinator of Demographic Challenges of the Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy of the European Commission (EC), Valentina Corsetti. At the meeting, Triguero told Corsetti about the Council's project to convert 22 unused municipal spaces into public housing. The details of the project will be announced in September, when the municipal government will present the Urban Agenda plan, which includes actions in housing, mobility and sustainability.

The mayor explained that "we have to find a way out" of these municipal properties, located mainly in the historic neighbourhoods of Sa Penya and Dalt Vila, in order to tackle the serious housing problem the city is suffering from. At the moment, Triguero pointed out, there are 1,007 families registered as housing applicants, whom Vila has to "make possible" access to a home. "This is a perfect fit, especially if they are in target neighbourhoods," added the mayor. Triguero explained that these are buildings, administrative buildings and commercial premises "that can be made available for this use".

During the meeting with Corsetti they also analysed the reasons why the previous municipal government, led by the socialist Rafa Ruiz, did not carry out the planned actions in the area of housing and for which it had an allocation of 4.6 million euros of European funds. This was money that the then mayor renounced for not having carried out the Sustainable and Integrated Urban Development Strategy programme, better known by its acronym EDUSI. Vila received these funds during Ruiz's first term in office, when he had proposed acquiring buildings so that, once they had been refurbished, they could be used for social renting. The Consistory launched a tender to try to buy the squatted building in Es Viver, but it was unsuccessful. As an alternative, it proposed to the Treasury the rehabilitation of 11 flats in Sa Penya for social renting, but the ministry rejected the project after learning that these flats would be destined for national police officers and not for socially disadvantaged families. It also rejected the possibility of rehabilitating municipal spaces or dwellings for conversion into social housing, which is precisely what Triguero's government is now proposing again.


In his meeting with Valentina Corsetti, the mayor stressed that Vila wants to "develop a major plan for the modernisation of municipal buildings" with the aim of "reducing the great social drama" of the lack of affordable housing in the city. For this reason, the municipal government is already working on this Urban Agenda plan, which is being carried out by the department headed by Rubén Sousa. A plan that will be submitted to both the EU and the Ministry of Finance in order to obtain the necessary funds to implement it within a period of eight years.

Rubén Sousa explained that it is "a new city strategy that will be essential for the transformation" of Ibiza's capital. The document, he added, "will be key to being able to count on EU funds and put an end to the problems of mobility and housing, making the city one hundred percent inclusive". All of this, moreover, by taking the necessary decisions to avoid a recurrence of what Triguero described as the "great failure" of the previous municipal government.

Valentina Corsetti, meanwhile, pointed out that the EU "continues to invest in integrated and sustainable urban development" and that now is the time to "plan new investments for the new programming period, which comes with more funds". Corsetti explained that Spain will receive 1.8 billion euros "for integrated urban development". The best cities with the best plans" will be able to access these funds. Plans in which integrated strategies and citizen participation will be of special interest. These plans must also be in line with the European Commission's "major priorities", which include green transition, digital transformation and social inclusion.

Corsetti praised the fact that the Consistory of Ibiza is "aligned with these major priorities" and expressed his confidence that it will be able to access the European aid necessary to activate this transformation of the municipality.