“The Waiting Home” project is an initiative to aid the social housing sector. A platform is designed to connect people and relate them, resulting in a more balanced distribution of people and space in the urban sphere.

CONTEXT:

In Barcelona for a population of approximately 1.6 million (2018), the available stock of social housing is less than 2%. According to a report by Barcelona Metropolitan Housing Observatory (2018), “the social housing stock is one of the smallest in the EU.” The reasons for this situation are not singular and hence would need a larger timeline to arrive at a desirable situation. The question is what can be done in the meantime?

The process for accessing a home at a subsidized rate is lengthy and requires a good amount of paperwork. Once every step is cleared, there is still a waiting period before one is granted access to their new home. In Barcelona, the applications for social housing have increased but acceptances are not very high. One major reason being that there are not adequate number of spaces that are available currently. The city has plans that are already in way for acquiring more dwellings and building new ones. Hence now when one applies for social housing and they are accepted, they have to wait for a certain amount of time as they still keep paying rents at market price. The tools designed in this project will provide a home (or homes) for these subsidy seekers while they are waiting for their promised home.

The platform “the waiting home” is where subsidy seekers who are waiting are redirected to by the city’s Housing department once their application has been accepted. Here the user’s profile would be generated with the recorded amount of subsidy the city has assigned them with. Now the user can find a home according to the neighborhood he chooses to live in. Who is the user connecting with?

The rental market in Barcelona can fluctuate highly. According to the datasets of Fotocasa (2019) there are renters who advertise their properties and then wait for them to be rented out for about 7 months. In some cases this waiting period can go even beyond a year. Hence there are available spaces which are simply not accessible. An additional problem for renters with vacant properties is the fear of having them occupied by squatters.

Thus the platform connect these two groups, the users and renters. The renters can list their property here while they wait for an user who is willing to pay the market price. In the meantime the renter paying the subsidized rent occupies the property for one month providing security from squatters and also additional income. To overlook the running of the system (between the user and renter) and ensure no disputes, a representative from the city is also present. As a reward for  helping the city and its fellow citizens, the renter receives service tokens.

METHODOLOGY:

The following explains the model in four parts.

  1. Matching the user and renter via “the waiting home” platform.
  2. Generating the smart contract and exchanging fiat currency for payment tokens.
  3. Using the wallet (Metamask) to receive the payment tokens and send to the “safe”.
  4. The safe (Gnosis) imports the payment and service tokens.

 

CRYPTOURBANICS MODEL:

The following breakdown explains each part of the blockchain technology in the way it is used for the implementation of this project.

 

“The Waiting Home” is a project of IAAC, Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia developed in the Master in City & Technology 2021/22 by Students: Aida Hassan and Kishwerniha Nagoor Meeran Buhari, Faculty: Maria-Luisa Marsal Llacuna