The President of Junta de Andalucía, Juanna Moreno, has reiterated the commitment of the regional government to families whose home ownership is in an irregular situation. Speaking on urban planning to action groups and local mayors in Vélez-Málaga last month, Sr Moreno said he was convinced that with good will and dialogue, it would be possible to achieve a solution, “which is beneficial to most illegal housing.”

According to the Ministry of Public Works, Infrastructure and Planning, there are around 300,000 properties which were constructed illegally in the region some years ago. In many cases, the purchasers believed they had taken all necessary advice and actions, including applying for and being granted municipal licences, to ensure that the property was fully legal.

Sr Moreno said that the problem has dragged on for decades without a solution because of a “complex bureaucratic tangle that could have been undertaken with greater diligence.” He added that the new Partido Popular administration in Andalucía is taking it seriously enough for its President to listen directly to those affected, and called for the collaboration and cooperation of the municipalities in the region.

The group Save Our Homes Axarquía (SOHA) wants the rules to distinguish between those owners who did not have a licence before construction, and those owners who met all local requirements and therefore possessed what they believed was the necessary paperwork. It also raises the problem of those who obtained licences which were later declared void by a court.

A “complex bureaucratic tangle that could have been undertaken with greater diligence.”