Spain may offer $300 monthly bribes to get adults out of their parents’ houses

Moving out.
Moving out.
Image: Reuters/Albert Gea
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Spain’s prime minister Pedro Sánchez is worried that too many not-so-young people are still living with their parents well into their thirties.

He announced on Tuesday (Oct. 5) that his government plans to offer adults aged 18 to 35 €250 ($290) a month to spend on rent for up to two years. The initiative, which is part of a broader housing plan, will apply to adults who earn less than €23,725 ($27,398) per year.

Sánchez said he wants young people to “have access to decent rental housing.”

Spanish adults tend to leave home later

Adults in Spain tend to move out of their families’ homes around age 30, nearly four years later than the EU average, according to Eurostat.

Young people in countries including Italy and Greece tend to leave home around the age of 30 as well. Like Spain, those countries also have relatively high NEET rates—that is, young people who are neither employed nor in education or training. Last year 22.3% of Spanish adults aged 20-34 were not employed or enrolled in an education program, according to Eurostat, compared to the 17.6% EU average.

High unemployment accompanies rising rents

Spain’s jobs market was hit hard by the pandemic, and the youth unemployment rate is currently 38%, well above the national average and the highest in the EU as of June.

At the same time, the country’s rental market is shrinking. The number of new houses dropped from 850,000 to 100,000 between 2006 and 2018, according to an April report by the Brookings Institute, and the majority of the population owns, rather than rents, their home. Low supply, coupled with a high demand has caused rents to rise, particularly in major cities like Madrid and Barcelona, making it harder for young people to save up enough to move out.

Spain’s government announced earlier this year that it will invest €1 billion of EU coronavirus recovery funds in social housing. This latest draft law expands on efforts to make housing more accessible and affordable, while addressing the fact that moving out still remains a pipe dream for many of the country’s young people.