Spain grants monthly aid to lure youths out of parents' homes

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New Minister of Transport Raquel Sanchez poses outside Moncloa Palace in Madrid, Spain, July 13, 2021. REUTERS/Javier Barbancho

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MADRID, Jan 18 (Reuters) - The Spanish government will pay 250 euros ($284) a month to low-income youths to help them cut the cord in a country where more and more young adults live with their parents because they cannot afford to rent.

Housing Minister Raquel Sanchez told a news conference after the weekly Cabinet meeting on Tuesday that starting this month, Spaniards under the age of 35 and with an annual income below 24,318 euros can request the monthly subsidy to rent an apartment for two years.

The subsidy "is an important element so that housing (prices) stop being such a hurdle for youth emancipation," she said.

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Spain has one of the highest shares of young people living with their parents in Europe, as many as 55% of 25-29 year-olds in 2020, according to the latest official data, up by 6.5 percentage points since 2013.

That number strongly correlates with endemically high youth unemployment in Spain, where 29% of people under 25 register as jobless.

However, direct subsidies to pay rents may be less effective than the government hopes as increased demand for small apartments will likely drive prices higher, said Francisco Inareta, a spokesman for Idealista, the country's largest real estate website.

"Prior experiences have shown that the main consequence is a direct price increase," he said, adding that renters who earn just above the announced limit would likely feel discriminated having to pay more without getting subsidies.

($1 = 0.8790 euro)

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Reporting by Inti Landauro and Emma Pinedo; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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