The role of the democratic organization in the La borda housing cooperative in Spain

Girbés-Peco, Sandra; Joanpere-Foraster, Mar; Mara, Liviu Catalin; Morlà, Teresa
Increases in housing prices, property speculation and the inability of many residents to pay their mortgage or rent have made housing a key issue of concern for Spaniards. In view of this situation, several grassroots initiatives have emerged in the last decade demanding the right to decent housing. Among them is La Borda, the first Grant of Use housing cooperative built on public land for subsidized housing in Spain. Taking as a reference several successful cooperative experiences, a group of citizens self-organized in 2014 to generate a housing project that escaped the free market dynamics of Barcelona. Specifically, this paper provides a qualitative analysis of how La Borda's democratic organization has operated as a driver in the construction of a collective property building, which has enabled access to affordable and stable housing for around 60 people. This organization, based on the direct participation of cooperative members in decision making and management, has provided a series of benefits, foremost among them: 1) capability building, 2) the adoption of leadership roles, and 3) the emergence of a sense of belonging.
Type of Publication:
Housing cooperatives; Community-led projects; Grant of use; Democratic organization; Barcelona; Spain
Habitat International
August 202
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