An organization claiming to represent Buenos Aires' tenants has submitted a bill before the City Hall whereby idle units are to be put out for rent on a mandatory basis after 90 days.
The Inquilinos Agrupados (IA - grouped tenants) association has devised a no empty houses bill under the motto An empty house is a crime, which has sparked controversies in the Argentine capital.
The project also features the so-called Protected Rental System clause to control and monitor the situation of tenants. In the City, there are 1,500,000 dwellings, of which 304,000 are empty, IA's Gervasio Muñoz said. He added these data stemmed from the 2010 Census and with this year's count surely there are many more.
The effect produced by empty houses is dramatic, Muñoz also pointed out in a radio interview. The idea is that these properties enter the [lease] market through a system administered by the Housing Institute of the City of Buenos Aires, he also explained.
Muñoz, who is also president of the National Federation of Tenants criticized former President Mauricio Macri's policies that deepened a model that has been going on for 15 years in Buenos Aires. In Muñoz's view, if all houses were on the market, nobody would be homeless.
He also underlined that in Belgium it is a criminal offense and in the city of London there are very heavy taxes on idle properties that end up going to the State.
There is a logic of resignation in the City; we have to build another logic, otherwise the right wing will continue governing ad eternum, Muñoz insisted.
According to IA's plan, every property that remains vacant for more than 90 days will be mandatorily included in the Protected Rental System (SAP), which will be created under the same law, which will be managed by the City's Housing Institute (IVC).
Owners of unoccupied dwellings will be charged a rent equivalent to 1% of the tax value to make access to housing easier. As per Muñoz's bill, inherited vacant homes will be compulsorily entered into the SAP and cannot be auctioned off on the real estate market.