Article

Does more renting mean greater insecurity?

Juan A. Módenes, Centre for Demographic Studies, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona; Adaptation: Núria Vallès Peris

Key points
  • 1
       The transformation of the Spanish residential system is characterised by a significant increase in housing rental among young people and other groups in a vulnerable economic situation, such as single-parent families or those of migrant origin.
  • 2
       With the increase in the number of people renting their homes, residential insecurity has also grown. Residential insecurity is a subjective indicator that reflects the fear of families of being forced to make an undesired change of home or of becoming homeless.
  • 3
       The combination of economic precarity and lack of residential stability means a greater feeling of insecurity in those households in a situation of vulnerability. In other words, this subjective sensation corresponds with a greater risk of having to leave the home involuntarily for economic reasons.
  • 4
       In Spain, the most available offering for vulnerable households to access the housing pool is rental, also the most fragile option. This is why the greatest residential insecurity is concentrated among rental housing.
Suffering from poverty and/or social exclusion is strongly related with rental housing tenure
Suffering from poverty and/or social exclusion is strongly related with rental housing tenure

Spain’s residential and housing access system is undergoing transformation. Traditionally, the predominance of ownership as the preferred form of housing tenure also explained Spain’s residential security. Today, however, with what is considered to be the end of home ownership for the masses, there is increasingly greater access to housing through rental. 

Within the Spanish context, the higher proportion of rental is associated with an increase in housing insecurity, because in Spain, rental is the least secure form of housing tenure in economic, contractual and legal terms.

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