Published On: Wed, Jul 10th, 2024
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Spanish locals living in shanty towns after being forced out | Travel News | Travel

Despite Tenerife being a much loved holiday destination it has become overrun with shanty towns causing locals to live in tents following a tourist property boom, it has emerged.

The housing crisis in Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands, and a rising cost of living have led thousands of people over the past months to illegally occupy private and public land in lieu of a home.

The crisis is now reaching fever pitch as low-paid service workers who are crucial to the tourism industry are being forced to reside in caravans or even in makeshift homes because the islands’s tourism boom as pushed up property prices.

The emergence of these shanty towns is focused in the southern part of the island and particularly in the municipalities of Arona and Adeje.

José, a 65-year-old kitchen assistant who works in a hotel, told The Telegraph how he was forced out of his apartment last year.

He rented the property for £340 a month before the landlord turned it into a short-term rental for holidaymakers.

José said: “Now anything with one or two bedrooms costs at least €900. I earn minimum wage, €1,100.

“If I have to pay that kind of rent, then we won’t be able to eat. Here we eat by cooking on gas.”

José Antonio Díez Dávila, coordinator of Mobile Street Outreach Units (UMAC) at Caritas Diocesana de Tenerife, told Canarian Weekly: “We have been sounding the alarm for years about housing access problems and homelessness in Tenerife, especially in the south.”

The crisis appears to be so deeply rooted in certain areas that it also affects people who aren’t in socially excluded situations, according to the expert.

An analysis carried out by Caritas – a confederation of Catholic relief services – last year suggested that around 2,400 people across the island were living in shanties, substandard housing or other structures such as tents and campervans.

Ibiza, another popular tourist destination, is also facing a housing crisis and has become overun with shanty towns.

The land between Sa Carroca and Can Raspalls is home to more and more substandard housing occupied by workers.

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