Barcelona requires 30% VPO

Barcelona 30% VPO

The Barcelona City Council provisionally approves the modification of the General Metropolitan Plan to accommodate social housing in new construction . This could affect the licenses of new developments in Barcelona. Most parties are in favor, including the PDCAT.

These measures would not solve the housing problem in Barcelona. The government of the city council has practically not taken initiative in subsidized housing and now intends to modify said regulations.

The main contradiction is that Barcelona has about 124 empty public lots, so it could have built about 5,000 homes. Therefore, it could be deduced that this action is like a smoke screen in order to eliminate the great disappointment so far regarding official housing.

Modification of the General Plan

The Ecology, Urban Planning and Mobility Commission has initially approved the processing of a Modification of the Metropolitan General Plan. This modification consists of allocating 30% of the new construction homes or large renovations with an urban ceiling of more than 600 square meters to officially protected housing . During today it is expected that it be provisionally approved and thus sent to the urban planning subcommittee .

In addition, during the month of July, the process began to extend the right of first refusal and withdrawal to give preference in all sales operations to the City Council.

transition measures

Licenses processed before the final approval of the new standard would be exempt from these requirements. Also operations in which the purchase of homes or land was carried out between July 1, 2016 and the entry into force of the new regulation. Although the license should be presented within a maximum period of two years from the final approval. In addition, in the case of transactions executed between January 1, 2016 and July 1, 2016, they must allocate 20% of the apartments to subsidized housing, instead of 30%.

On the other hand, the homes of the buildings classified as patrimonial will be exempt . Urban development estates that already included affordable housing or spaces undergoing transformation, such as La Marina or La Sagrera, which already have high percentages of subsidized housing, are also exempt from these requirements.


The Modification of the General Metropolitan Plan began in the Ecology, Urban Planning and Mobility Commission. After the claim period. Today it will be debated and voted on in the municipal plenary session. Therefore, if nothing happens today, it will be provisionally approved. The final approval for the inclusion of social housing in the new construction will depend, finally, on the Urban Planning subcommittee. This commission is made up of members of the municipal government and the Generalitat de Catalunya.

social housing new construction in barcelona
Inclusion of social housing in new construction

Is the inclusion of social housing in new construction buildings really going to be approved?

Once the procedure is approved by the City Council, it must be approved by the urban planning subcommittee. This commission is made up of members of the City Council and the Generalitat.

Our information tells us that for various reasons, the urban planning subcommittee would definitively approve the modification without too many problems. In addition, during the provisional approval an agreement was observed with the PDCAT.

Subsequently, more allegations will be presented by promoters and different entities such as the Association of Promoters of Catalonia . They would allege that several private property rights could be altering in this inclusion of social housing in new construction buildings of a private nature.

There are several aspects in the air

  • Will there be segregation within the same block as happens in Vancouver or Toronto?
  • Will there be judicial threats to paralyze this approval?
  • What will happen to the minimum area of 600 m2? Why is it not 800 or 1000 m2 like in other cities?
  • What will happen to the smaller promoters? Will works in Barcelona be paralyzed?
  • What will be done in the 124 empty lots available to the council?
  • Will the measure affect other municipalities in the metropolitan area?
  • Will it be definitively approved in the planning subcommittee?
  • Why has this measure been carried out so quickly? And why hasn’t a detailed economic study been carried out?

All these unanswered questions are because the local government has been too fast in making such an important decision. Furthermore, in a city where the biggest promoter of social housing could be the city council itself, this is not the main solution to the housing problem.

Pujadó Soler can help you

If you consider that you may be harmed we can have solutions . One option to ensure the promotions with the previous conditions would be to process an urban certificate prior to the reform. Subsequently, a project should be commissioned as soon as possible to request a building permit. Pujadó Soler’s architect collaborators will help you with this entire process.

It is expected that during the month of October the modification could enter into force. Until that date, procedures and procedures could still be carried out, so that the current urban conditions would not be lost.

If you are in a situation where the modification may affect you, call us at 93 220 81 41. You can also send us an email to and our team will try to help you.