Archivo de la etiqueta: Limited Rent Housing Act 1954


In 1944, the public company RENFE had been declared a construction company for the purposes of the 1939 law on subsidised housing. It therefore initiated a plan to build social housing for its workers in those areas where demand was greatest. This plan, known as the 4,000 dwellings (in reality, 3,900 were programmed), began in the midst of the autarchy with serious supply problems and with an architectural vocation that shied away from innovations in design and materials, taking refuge in the generalised use of brick as the main construction element. With these conditions, the pace of construction was not what was expected and, in 1954, when the legislative change took place, barely 1,800 dwellings had been completed. 

The new law on low-income housing of 1954 proposed a reunification of the previous regulations, an improvement in construction aid, especially for private initiatives, and streamlining the administrative action of permit and construction procedures. With the new law, RENFE assumed the need to extend its plan to 7,000 dwellings, counting the previous planned constructions. This plan, revised and published in 1956, was valued by the company as the tool that allowed it to cover the existing demand among the company’s workers. Sigue leyendo


The first entry in this blog dealt with one of the first regulations of the then new Francoist State: the law on subsidised housing and the subsequent creation of the National Housing Institute (INV) in 1939. This law had been in force for barely fifteen years and now, in view of the new airs that were appearing among the leaders of the regime, a legislative change was proposed to open up the construction activity to private initiative, although leaving, at least on paper, the initiative to the INV through the public construction company Obra Sindical del Hogar (OSH).

Before the enactment of the Law of 15 July 1954 on the protection of low-income housing, two decrees were issued, one for the organisation of a social housing plan and the other for the construction of low-income and minimum-income housing by the OSH. This set of measures did not affect the housing developments carried out by the railway companies, and RENFE in particular, as this legislation was more oriented to attend to “a group of population that arrives en masse to the big cities and crowds into the suburbs”, with hardly sufficient economic resources or any job stability, hence the housing envisaged in these plans was low priced (around 25. 25,000 pta) and very small in size (around 45 m2), in the case of the minimum dwellings, while the low-income dwellings could reach 100 m2 and were priced at over 100,000 pta. Sigue leyendo


“The light came from a bulb in the center, with its white lampshade, hanging form some muddy cables”. Rafael Sánchez Ferlosio, El Jarama, Ed. Destino, p. 162, 1955

The approach to the everyday is an exercise of great interest for the social science researcher, as it acts as laboratory evidence to which more generalist studies cannot reach. In our case, when we studied the characteristics of the electrical installations in the dwellings built by RENFE between 1939 and 1975, we were able to observe, on the one hand, the progressive improvement of these installations, and on the other hand, the abysmal difference between then and nowadays, brought about by a normative regulation that has introduced minimum comfort in dwellings, the first steps of which were taken around the middle of the 20th century.

Knowledge on the regulatory regime is a valid clue to study the process with a certain degree of order, which allows us to see how these regulations, with greater or lesser rigour, have been reflected in the construction projects, which in turn have evolved and, under the influence of new demands derived from an evident economic development, have increased the efficiency and quality of the installations, which had to be prepared for the entry of new household appliances and other additional installations in dwellings. In this sense, during the period under study, three standards were in force that regulated the electrical installations in the dwellings to be built: the 1933 Regulations on Electrical Reception Installations (RIER), the 1955 Low Voltage Electrotechnical Regulations (REBT) and the new 1973 electrotechnical regulations (REBT), which represented a qualitative leap in the characteristics (capacity, quality, safety, etc.) of the electrical installations in newly constructed buildings. As can be seen, each standard was in force for about twenty years, which shows an accelerated modernisation of these installations. Sigue leyendo