The housing crisis in the south of Tenerife has reached such a point that tourist industry workers are resorting to sharing rooms, living in caravans, or even sleeping on the beach. Rental prices for a single room have skyrocketed to over 800 euros, with availability becoming scarce as many properties have transitioned from residential use to holiday homes.
This situation is illustrated by the story of a taxi driver from Adeje, originally from Bulgaria, who had been renting an old flat near the Troya ravine in Playa de Las Americas for 500 euros a month. Two years ago, his rent was abruptly increased to 1,200 euros per week after the flat was designated as a holiday home. Unable to find affordable monthly rentals due to limited supply, he opted to purchase a townhouse near the golf course in Buenavista del Norte.
He found it more economical to commute daily from Buenavista than to pay over 1,000 euros for rent in Adeje or Arona. His plight mirrors that of his colleagues and many other workers in the tourist sector, such as waiters who commute from the north or Granadilla because affordable housing is virtually unattainable in the area, whether for rent or purchase.
This trend of converting traditional residential buildings into lucrative tourist flats, driven by foreign investments or individual landlords seeking higher profits, is not only a problem in the south of Tenerife. It’s also prevalent in the capital and smaller islands like La Gomera, where job vacancies remain unfilled due to a lack of housing. An example of this is a hospital worker in La Gomera who has resorted to living in a motorhome.
The issue is compounded by the lack of new social housing construction. The Government of the Canary Islands is addressing this by drafting a new law on holiday homes, aiming for a comprehensive revision of the existing regulations set out in Decree 113/2015 of 22 May.