La Torrassa, in l’Hospitalet de Llobregat, experienced exponential population growth by hosting different waves of migration. Apartment blocks now dominate the neighborhood, but it was not always like this. During the first decades of the last century, when the Murcia mining crisis dragged thousands of people to this suburb that became popularly nicknamed Murcia Chica, the so-called corridor urbanism was common. It consisted of small houses, nothing luxurious and inhabited by humble people, lined up facing each other with a common exterior corridor. Nowadays they are a rare bird, but perpendicular to Roselló Street is the Pons Passage, an example of this model of architecture. Rehabilitation has been urgently needed for years now.

Built in the 1920s, the houses in Pons Passage are legally protected as Cultural Assets of Local Interest. At the end of 2016 they were acquired by the City Council, which had in mind a rehabilitation to transform them into social housing. Almost eight years have passed and the homes are still empty. A canvas from the Town Hall, which at the time protected them from illegal occupations, remembers the municipal project.

“We denounce the government’s negligence and demand that rehabilitation be undertaken now,” says Sonia Esplugas, spokesperson for the PP at City Hall. The Popular Party, in opposition to the PSC Executive, held a press conference on the issue a few days ago. “These houses will not solve the problem of access to housing in the neighborhood, but they are necessary. Also from a heritage point of view,” she argues. For Esplugas, the Pons passage is an example of the “inaction” of the City Council.

The Defensem El Castell de Bellvís platform, a neighborhood association that fights for the conservation of the neighborhood’s heritage, has been calling for rehabilitation for years. “Heritage is made up of memories, our collective heritage that unites us and reaffirms us in what we are and what we want to transmit to future generations,” they explain in their web space dedicated to this enclave.

Despite the delays, the City Council assures that the idea of ​​adaptation is still valid and that in just a few months it will begin to become a reality. Some time ago the City Council commissioned the rehabilitation project from the Barcelona Metropolitan Area (AMB). According to municipal sources, the executive project is finished and is in the “audit phase.” These same sources assure that the start of works is planned “in March 2025.”

The small size of the houses, together with other problems such as poor ventilation, makes the idea to go from nine to five homes. Located on the ground floor, they will be social, if nothing changes, intended for elderly people or people with reduced mobility. Despite being battered and humble, the houses of Pons Passage have their charming point: they have ornamental elements such as medallion-type ceramic vents, artificial stone pinecones, ceramic balusters and worked wrought iron bars.