Archivo de la etiqueta: cooperativism


Housing legislation during the Franco regime was subject to the successive laws of 1939, 1954 and 1968, with their respective regulations, in addition to the 1942 law on cooperation and its 1943 regulations, which were revised with the general laws on cooperatives of 1974 and 1987. Not forgetting the relevance and significance of the 1956 law on the land regime and urban planning, a fundamental element for understanding the urban development processes during the developmentalist period. Sigue leyendo


Of the cases registered in our database on railway dwellings built during the study period: 19,015 dwellings and 253 developments, 94% of the dwellings and 91% of the developments were built in what we know as cities, i.e. in population centres with more than 5,000 inhabitants. This percentage drops to 68% and 60%, respectively, if we look at medium-sized and large cities (more than 50,000 inhabitants) and is even lower if we only look at large cities, with 45% and 29%, respectively, of the dwellings and developments built. In other words, the construction of railway housing in this period was a clearly urban phenomenon, typical of the period, but in which medium-sized cities also played a leading role: we must bear in mind that in many cases these were provincial capitals (Ciudad Real, León or Granada, among others) or important railway hubs (Miranda de Ebro, Alcázar de San Juan or Águilas, among others). There is, therefore, a more balanced distribution of housing, related to the characteristics and needs of the railway operation, although Madrid, Valencia, and Barcelona, in that order, account for 30% of the housing built. Sigue leyendo


Before the beginning of an industrialist phase in the construction of social housing for railway employees during the second half of the 20th century, both by railway companies (especially RENFE) and through cooperatives of railway workers, the construction of housing for railway employees by private companies was not of a general nature and only a few hundred dwellings were built for both employees in strategic positions and those who worked in unpopulated areas or small urban centres with scarce urban development. The lack of housing in the sector was evident and in many cases the railway workers had to wait in precarious constructions or in adapted wagons for housing to become available or for the construction of a new development (Cuéllar Villar, Jiménez Vega and Polo Muriel 2005).

In the big cities, where the problem was apparently less of a problem because there was a greater supply of tenement housing, the lack of housing was also important because prices were very high and the location of the housing was very far from the workplaces, which also led to the existence of substandard housing or accommodation lacking the slightest comfort. As a result, with the impulse given by consumer cooperatives and workers’ associations in general, railway workers’ cooperatives also began to develop, with the aim of building housing for their families. Sigue leyendo


At the beginning of this note, it is appropriate to indicate the reasons for the chronology used, which will be common in most of the texts published in this blog related to Spanish railway housing in the second half of the 20th century. The extreme dates are marked by two laws, that of 1939, which promoted the construction of protected housing, and that of 1989, on measures to finance protected housing, which would entail a significant change in the trajectory of social housing in Spain, since that a good part of the regulatory and promotional powers would pass to the Autonomous Communities, as established by the Spanish Constitution of 1978.

Thus, in the period 1949-1989 we have been able to count the construction of some 20,000 homes for railway workers, which were largely built by the workers themselves, as cooperatives and with the aim of gaining access to a home of their own.

RENFE’s housing stock for its employees increased considerably during this period, as can be seen from the fact that, in addition to the 7,000 homes for rent, some 2,500 homes were also built on loan for strategic positions for personnel from the Circulation and Works services. In addition, the company also owned housing that had been built by the former railway companies (before 1936) and were still in use. Finally, other companies in the railway sector, of a regional or local nature, also built homes for their employees, although in a much lower number (figure 1). Sigue leyendo


The modern cooperative impulse has its roots in the implementation of the industrial revolution, when in different economic and social spheres, popular and middle classes sought collaborative networks to carry out agricultural, industrial, or service projects. In Spain, the first national congress was held in Barcelona in 1899, in which the agricultural unions and rural banks had special relevance, and in which different lectures were given on the thought of Proudhon, Ruskin, Marx, Owen and Sorel and the first cooperative experiences, which were taught by some intellectuals in Barcelona at the time (Pérez Baró, 1963).

Production cooperatives, consumer cooperatives and, to a lesser extent, housing cooperatives (referred to in those years as cheap houses) were the main study references. However, the impulse to cooperativism related to housing construction would be delayed until the second half of the 20th century, going hand in hand with real estate developmentalism that would greatly complicate the operation of these cooperatives. Sigue leyendo