Javier Madrazo: "We want to influence the quality of life"

2002/11/01 Kortabarria Olabarria, Beñardo - Elhuyar Zientzia Iturria: Elhuyar aldizkaria

Construction is working hard. Numerous homes have been built in recent years. Many of them of official protection, that is, of administrative origin. In addition to the construction of housing, the Department of Housing and Social Affairs of the Basque Government has long-term projects, Counselor Javier Madrazo demonstrates.

Does the Basque Government have any influence when it comes to urban planning?

All administrations participate in the planning of our cities and the land. Municipalities define the use that will be given to the soil of municipalities, councils supervise these decisions and we plan the planning of the territory. The Master Housing Plan 2002-2005 proposes moving towards new urban models. That is, in the initiatives promoted, we seek to incorporate new criteria in the development approaches of cities: quality of life, energy efficiency, sustainability, social environment…

Basque Government

Cities without cars, towns and pedestrian cities, clean neighborhoods... are fashion concepts. What is the Basque Government doing to make these concepts a reality?

Last year the Basque Government signed the Commitment to Sustainability of the Basque Country. In that agreement we stressed the need to base our quality of life on sustainability. In addition, an Environmental Framework Program was designed to collect the environmental improvement objective by 2020. The new Master Housing Plan has assumed these objectives and commitments assuming the following criteria: make the most of the built city, boost rents and achieve total energy efficiency in all our promotions.

Construction and the environment are hardly caseable. Does the degraded areas project aim to concentrate both?

The Order for the Rehabilitation of Degraded Neighborhoods has a budget of 30.5 million euros. We want to recover and transform the most degraded neighborhoods in cities to respond to the right of all citizens to decent housing in a dignified environment. This initiative aims to respond to the problems of both the areas punished by the processes of deindustrialization and the areas gradually deteriorated in large cities.

Houses of official protection. Cheap, but they say that low quality material is used and that the finish is not very fine.

It is a baseless denunciation. The quality of our homes and private homes does not differ. We prioritize construction with quality and respect for the environment, so the Eraikal program will continue. We want to ensure that all construction companies respect quality management, labour safety principles and the environment.

The Department of Housing and its institutions have made a great effort in obtaining various quality documents.

Do rehabilitation plans also have that goal?

The new plan aims to optimize the use of the urban heritage of the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country through the rehabilitation of buildings and houses and the recovery of urban areas. We hope to touch 29,000 homes.

We will subsidize the rehabilitation of buildings and homes, both private and public. As far as empty housing is concerned, we will promote ways of rehabilitation and subsequent rent.

Do you have projects on new technologies, home automation…?

Among the projects that we currently have highlights the database of Acoustic Behavior of Materials. Designed to ensure the acoustic quality of future homes.

The priority is to introduce improvements in housing that improve the quality of life of the population. This strategy focuses on three axes: energy sufficiency, environmental sufficiency and acoustic efficiency. We will promote solar energy use systems and bioclimatic architecture development plans. Home automation can help in these strategies without which home automation systems would make no sense.

Official protection housing by Visesa

Visesa is the entity that addresses the issue of official protection housing in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country. It was born in 1992 with the responsibility of promoting houses of official protection. The objective of the entity is to provide families who cannot buy housing in a free market access to quality and low-cost housing. It has already distributed 3,000 houses and in the short term will be able to build 9,800 houses. In total, Visesa will invest 760 million euros. He will therefore be the main housing promoter of the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country. In addition to offering the possibility of acquiring new homes, at the moment they are building houses that will be rented cheaper.

In the places where the house is built, Visesa places offices so that the public has the necessary information. The interested parties are informed about the characteristics of the houses and the clients have the possibility to see how the house is, both internally and externally, before its construction. For this purpose it uses the 3D system developed expressly by Visesa. People who cannot go to the offices can find information on the website of the entity at the following address: www.visesa.com

Anyone who wants to buy a house promoted by Visesa must register in Etxebide, the Basque housing service. All information can be obtained by calling 012.

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