The economic crisis has seen the social housing rules relax to allow more young people to rent properties (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). To access social housing you can now be under 35, (the previous minimum age limit), and the onus is now on economic status rather than age. The two single requirements that young people must meet are that they continue to meet the economic conditions, for instance do not exceed the income level required and that they don't own any property. Antoni Sorrolla, a delegate from Vivienda de Barcelona, points out that this new flexibility is available to everyone. The concept is intended to be that they use the flats as starter homes; the 40 square metres of the housing do not invite inhabitants to form families and settle down. On June 30th, there were around 23,000 people registered for social housing in Barcelona. The consorcio presented an unflattering review which revealed that 52 percent of social housing applicants do not have the minimum income to access the properties and that 41 percent of those that do qualify give their property up. To try and tackle the problems, faced by the 52 percent unable to meet the economic requirements, Sorolla claims that the ayuntamiento will invest €400,000 to strengthen the actions aimed at that group and will create a special contingent of 100 flats that will be especially for those needing economic help to rent property.
Half the decorated streets of Gràcia depend on the work of retired residents who fear that they can't do the work for much longer (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). Richard Estruch, president of the Joan Blanques and of the Fundación de la Fiesta Mayor says, It is a latent problem. There are many streets that are dependent on one person and if he or she can not continue the party might end." Aware of the difficulties some of the streets have been introducing talent and labour from other districts and even other municipalities. Nearby, in the calle de la Llibertat, the veteran decorators have incorporated this year a group of ten children, almost all immigrants, to paint and assemble the ornaments. "We have some people from Argentina, one from Pakistan, several from India. Everyone is excited because it is something they have never seen up close."
Barcelona is expected to have 15 percent of its asphalt renewed by next year (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). With work being done now on the new road surfaces of Calle Aragó and Diagonal, the ayuntamiento continues on its way to renew the asphalt of nearly a million and a half square metres in the city. The works in calle Aragó are using a material that reduces the noise of traffic by two or three decibels, and this will be used in almost 70 percent of the total works being done. Jordi Hereu, the mayor of Barcelona who visited the new section of Aragó said that these actions are an example of an "active policy of reforms" in public spaces. The overall budget for the new road surfaces in 2010 is €11 million. According to the ayuntamiento, the investment in the maintenance of the road surfaces is the largest in the last eight financial years.