By Jennifer Leighfield • 04 February 2021 • 16:44
SOME 100,000 people in Spain are unable to leave their homes because they are in buildings that are not accessible.
According to a study by the Fundacion Mutua de Propietarios (Property Associations Foundation) in collaboration with the UNESCO Chair for the Right to Housing at the Rovira i Virgili University, currently only 0.6 per cent of residential buildings in Spain are universally accessible.
This means that 22 per cent of people with reduced mobility have had to change their home during the coronavirus pandemic.
In pre-covid times 1.8 million Spaniards needed the help of third parties to leave their homes, and 100,000 people never did so due to the lack of accessibility of their buildings.
Throughout Spain, 63 per cent of apartment blocks are not accessible from the street to the entrance because there is no ramp, 9 per cent of the door opening systems are not fully accessible and there are 22 per cent of buildings which do not have a lift.
Sixteen per cent of European funds will be allocated to the Urban Rehabilitation and Regeneration Plan to accelerate the pace of sustainable renovation of blocks of apartments and flats.
To promote universal accessibility in residential buildings, the Madrid Association of Property Administrators (CAFMadrid) has joined the Manifesto of the Fundacion Mutua de Propietarios that has been delivered to the government with the support of almost 100 entities, among which there are groups of property managers, architects, surveyors, etc.
For the executive vice president of the Foundation, Laura Lopez Demarbre, “the rehabilitation buildings should be to improve quality of life, difficult to achieve without eliminating barriers to mobility in homes and buildings.”
The President of CAFMadrid explained that in general, residents’ associations do not have financial resources to carry out the work which is why funds are needed.
The work is also essential to fight loneliness, since people over 70 are most likely to spend their days locked up in their homes.
There is also a clear relationship between lack of autonomy and mood, since 60 per cent of people with reduced mobility feel bad about themselves.
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Jennifer Leighfield, born in Salisbury, UK; resident in Malaga, Spain since 1989. Degree in Translation and Interpreting in Spanish, French and English from Malaga University (2005), specialising in Crime, Forensic Medicine and Genetics.
Published translations include three books by Richard Handscombe. Worked with Euro Weekly News since November 2006. Well-travelled throughout Spain and the rest of the world, fan of Harry Potter and most things ‘geek’.
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