19 European media outlets from 13 countries are fact-checking the May 2019 European elections for you

Something to check?

Did the UN warn Spain for allowing multinational ‘vulture funds’ to buy large swathes of properties?

Business
Your questions

Newtral, Spain

8 April 2019, Updated: 8 April 2019

Did the UN warn Spain for allowing multinational ‘vulture funds’ to buy large swathes of properties?

In March 2019, the UN wrote a letter to the Spanish government, among others, to alert them to investment funds in general and, in particular, Blackstone.

Hello,

The full question was: Did the UN’s Special Rapporteur for Housing warned Spain for allow multinational ‘vulture funds’ to buy large swathes of properties and rent them at higher prices?

In the 2008, the then Special Rapporteur for Adequate Housing with the UN Human Rights Commission, Miloon Kothari, produced a report on housing in Spain after a visit in 2006. He concluded with this: The housing model “has generated uncontrolled speculation which is, in turn, causing many problems, including cases of corruption.”

Similarly, in March 2019, the current Rapporteur for Adequate Housing- Leilani Farhi- wrote a letter to the Spanish government, among others, to alert them to investment funds in general and, in particular, Blackstone. In the letter, Farha writes that “we remind all countries of their obligation to regulate the housing market in a way that respects the right to adequate housing and that this cannot be undermined in any way. It cannot be left up to the private sector to do this voluntarily”. The letter was also sent to the governments of the Czech Republic, Denmark, Ireland, Sweden and the United States.

The report declared: “This business model, of which Blackstone is a pioneer, is becoming the norm within the industry. Properties which are considered “undervalued”- generally meaning that they are affordable for the people that live there- are bought en masse, renovated and then rented at a much higher price which, in turn, affords higher prices to leaseholders in their own houses and communities. Landlords have become faceless corporations, wreaking havoc with regards to tenant security and contributing to the global housing crisis.”

Translation by Albie Mills/ VoxEurop

Something to check?