Representatives of the neighbourhood, hoteliers, real estate agents and Erasmus students, among others, have formed the new Platform for the Regulation of Homes for Tourist Use in Galicia, which brings together more than 700 companies and 10,000 residents with the aim of putting a stop to illegal tourist accommodation and alleviating the consequences it has in both the social and economic spheres. The Hotel Association Compostela, Apartugali, the Galician Association of Real Estate, the Hotel Union Compostela, Raigame, Barrio Xardín, Erasmus.gal and Compostela Trip Rental presented yesterday the founding manifesto of this Platform, which was born with the aim of observing compliance with the law and as an instrument “facilitator” that the reports of irregularities reach the competent authority in the matter.
Carlos Debasa, president of the Galician Real Estate Association (Agalín) denounced that the calculations indicate that there are more than 80% of vacancies without legalization in all Galicia that are offered in on-line portals, and that they do not offer the guarantees that the legislation protects to assure the rights of the consumers and the citizens.
The consequences of this situation, he stressed, “are obvious and well known”: a drop in the supply of rental housing, unbearable prices for residents, depopulation of areas with the highest tourist demand, a trend towards a business offer focused on this activity or progressive displacement of the population, Debasa listed.
In the case of Santiago de Compostela, this situation is aggravated by the city model itself, which has the added component of a large university community, much of it foreign. In this sense, the platform referred to the problems faced by students and, in particular, the Erasmus students who carry out their training in the city, since they are forced to remain on the margins of “social life” and this makes their integration difficult. The objectives of the new platform are specifically aimed at dealing with cases of irregularities and offering their collaboration to public administrations to ensure compliance with the law and alleviate the consequences of this legality, channelling complaints to the Galician Consumer Institute, but always from “a constructive role” to formulate and propose alternatives and make contributions to new regulations. In fact, they want to be one of the actors at the table set up by the Xunta and the City Council of Santiago in order to draw up municipal regulations and rules in this area.