Given international and the inter-disciplinary character of the Chair, it is open to any researcher who is committed to contribute in the development of knowledge in the field of housing and who wants to contribute to any of the projects that the Chair is working on.
Below we provide details on the researchers who belong to the Housing Research Group and that are working or who have worked in the Chair.
Director of the UNESCO Housing Chair
Sergio Nasarre-Aznar (Tarragona, 1974) is Full Professor of Civil Law and Director of the UNESCO Housing Chair at the University Rovira i Virgili (Spain). He is European Doctor in Law and holds an M.Phil. in Land Economy of the University of Cambridge. Since 2008 he is a Corresponding Member of the Spanish Royal Academy of Jurisprudence and Legislation. He has been granted the ICREA Fellowship to the excellence of research 2016-2020. Consultant of the EU Commission, the Catalan Parliament and Government, Amnesty International, FAO and the Association of German PfandbriefBanks. Since 2018, advisor to the German Ministry of the Interior, Construction and Community for the implementation of housing policies in Europe in its European Presidency in 2020. He has been Deputy Judge in the Court of Appeal of Tarragona for 15 years (2004-2018). He is the author of four books and has edited seven more. He has published more than 90 research works and has delivered over 160 invited speeches in 15 countries. He has taken part in drafting five laws related to housing. He is main researcher in ten national and international projects and has taken part in some projects of the EU Commission and the European Parliament about tenancies, evictions and homelessness, cross-border acquisition of land and collaborative economy.
Deputy Director of the UNESCO Housing Chair
Associate Professor of Financial and Tax Law at the URV and deputy Director of the URV Housing Chair (since 1997). She is the author of the book “Atypical Taxes” (Marcial Pons, 2006), and coauthor of several books such as “Comments to avoid double taxation in the agreement To avoid double taxation in Mexico, and in Ecuador” (Marcial Pons, 2004 and 2006 respectively). She has published 22 chapters of books and has more than 27 scientific articles published in Spain, France, Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela. He has participated in the organization of 30 national and international congresses. She has delivered more than 40 speeches in Spain, France and in several Latin American countries. She has participated in more than 17 research projects: R & D “Trust and trust in the international context of Latin America and Spain”, “Tenancy Law and Housing Policy in Multi-level Europe”, European Union; “International Tax Law”, and currently in the R & D project “Reforming housing holdings: tax proposal for comprehensive management of housing owned and leased”. She has been Secretary, Deputy Dean and Head of the Internal System of Quality Assurance of the Faculty of Legal Sciences of the URV. Her fields of research are international taxation, conventions to avoid double taxation, trust, constitutional tax principles and real estate taxation.
Dr. Héctor Simón Moreno is European Doctor of Law and currently he is postdoctoral researcher in Civil Law in Rovira i Virgili University. He has written several scientific publications (articles, books, book chapters and chronicles) and he has participated in national and international workshops and conferences, some of them also organized by him. In addition, he has done research stays in the Oxford University, in the National University of Ireland, as well as in the Verband Deutscher Pfandbriefbanken. His research focuses on the following fields: a) Housing Law within the TENLAW project and the Housing Chair. B) Real rights and trusts. C) Contract Law within the Optional Instrument in European Contract Law.
Dr. Elisabet Cerrato has been a Professor of Procedural Law at the URV‘s Faculty of Legal Sciences since 2004, and has been awarded the URV’s extraordinary doctorate award. She is the author of two monographs on civil legal procedure and has collaborated on various collective works; she has also been published in various prestigious national and international journals. She has spoken at several national and international conferences and meetings. Her main areas of research are currently private civil procedure and the procedural aspects of arrangements with creditors. She is a recognised active researcher by Rovira i Virgili University.
Dr. Blanca Deusdad received her Master and PhD degrees in Sociology from Barcelona University, Spain, in 1997 and 2002, respectively. She was Postdoctoral Fulbright Fellow (2004-05) at Boston University and Fellowship at Harvard University (2006 and 2008). She joined Rovira i Virgili University in 2009 and currently is Associate Professor at the Department of Anthropology, Philosophy and Social Work. She is also associated member at Boston University. Her research interests include social work and ICT, social services, ageing, ageing and housing, gender and education. She has participated in two European projects COST Action and in more than five R&D projects at the National level. She has published more than ten articles with impact. She has edited a Special Issue in a Journal ISI-JCR Journal of Social Service Research. She has contributions in numerous international conferences. She has also supervised a PhD with European mention. She was member of the management committee and steering committee of the project COST Action IS1102 Social services, welfare state and places and substitute member of COST Action 1402 and COST Action CA 15122 ROSEnet.
Associate Professor and head of the International Private Law area of Rovira i Virgili University since 2005. She obtained a European Doctorate of Law from Universitat de Barcelona. She has done research residencies at the Universities of Lyon, Turin, Nijmegen, Aberdeen, MGHill (Montreal) and the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law. Among the lines of research she is active in is the study of legal entity on an inter-regional and international level, as well as an analysis of European legislative policies on social Economic organizations, particularly as regards foundations and charitable trusts. In the sphere of international procedural law she is investigating the free circulation of extra-judicial public documents in the European Union in terms of their execution, notification, registration and authentification. She participates in international research projects at both the URV and Universitat de Barcelona on such subjects as: the registration of international property transactions and the application of European regulations on the part of Spanish courts. She is the head of the Legal Clinic for Business of the Master’s Degree in Corporate and Contract Law.
Dr. Angels Galiana is associate professor of philosophy of law at the Faculty of legal sciences of the University since 1997. She has participated in several regional, national and international research projects. She has published two monographs, has participated in several collective books, as well as has written articles in national and international journals in her main fields of research: theory of technical regulations and legislation, human rights, environment, immigration and social rights. She has been Deputy Dean at the Faculty of Legal Sciences at URV.
Lecturer of International Private Law in the URV since 2004. Diploma of Advanced Studies in the Department of International Law and Economics. Doctor of Law from the University of Barcelona. Her main research focuses on immigration law. Author of a monograph and several publications in scientific journals and collective works. She participates in several competitive research projects. She has been a visiting researcher at the Dutch University of Nijmegen, the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law and at the King’s College London.
Assistant professor in Roman law. European Doctor in Law and an Extraordinary Doctorate Award 2011. Director of the Master’s Degree in Business and Contract Law of the URV since 2015. Currently she is directing 2 doctoral theses. Author of 1 monograph, 4 book chapters and 6 articles in indexed journals, among other smaller publications. She has participated in more than 25 international conferences presenting papers, among them the annual congress of the Société Internationale Fernand de Visscher pour l’Histoire des Droits de l’Antiquité. Research stays at the Universities LMU-München (Germany), Pavia, Federico II di Napoli (Italy) and Oxford (UK). Member of 9 research projects. She is main researcher of the Project DER2016-75518-P granted by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, Regulae iuris on obligatory legal relations: textual history, interpretation, practice (2017/2019). Fields of research: Roman classic civil procedure, Foundations of European private law, Public Works in postclassical and Justinian Roman law, datio in solutum, and the protection of cultural immovable heritage.
Dr. Milenka Villca Pozo is lecturer of Tax Law at the Faculty of Law of the Rovira i Virgili University since 2008. He received his PhD in European law at the University Rovira i Virgili in 2012, which received the special award of doctorate. She was the supernumerary Administrative Court, coercive Fiscal and Tax Superior Court of the District of Oruro (Bolivia). She is the author of a monograph on the legal and tax trust in the Andean Community and coordinator of the works “Tributário Direito, economic democracy and sob in perspective da União Europe” and “Experiences of Teaching and virtual innovation lecturing”. She also worked in several collective works and published in national and international reviews. She has participated as a speaker and as a member of the organizing committee in various seminars, workshops and conferences both nationally and internationally. She has also participated in various R & D projects and during the period 2013-2015 has been coordinator of the project “Teaching Innovation Group of the Faculty of Law,” approved and funded by the ICE-URV. Her main areas of research are taxation of trusts and trust, mutual funds, foreign trade, international tax and corporate profits.
Elga Molina Roig is the Head of the Housing Office of the Tarragona Regional Council. She holds a Degree in Law and a Master‘s Degree in Corporate and Contract Law, as well as a Diploma in Property Administration and Management. Doctor in Law since 2017, she obtained a Cum Laude with her PhD “A new regulation of residential urban leases in a European context”. Her professional career has taken place in different areas of the property sector: firstly in the private sector in real estate agencies, property administration and property development and marketing, and currently in the public sector dealing with social housing policy. Since last year she has been working with the URV’s Research Group on Access to Housing as its national reporter for the Project known as the 7th Framework Programme – TENLAW. She assisted and collaborated in the organisation of the 25th International Congress of the European Network for Housing Research: “Overcoming the crisis: integrating the urban environment”, in which she presented a paper on the current problems in urban leases. She has also delivered several conferences, seminars and workshops on public policies on property rental of the Catalan Government, as well as on the emancipation of young people.
Rosa Maria Garcia Teruel (international Doctor in Laws and Msc in Corporate and Contract Law URV) is a postdoctoral researcher at the UNESCO Chair on Housing. Her PhD in civil law covered the legal aspects of tenancy agreements in which the tenant pays in kind (i.e. performing renovations), and it was funded by the Catalan Government (FI DGR 2015). In this field of research, she published more than ten articles and book chapters, and she has presented her research in several national and international conferences (Denmark, Portugal, France, Hungary, United Kingdom, Albania, The Netherlands). She is researcher of several competitive projects and has carried out a research stay at the Zentrum für Europäische Rechtspolitik, University of Bremen (Germany) and at the University of Groningen (The Netherlands). She is lecturer at the Degree of Law URV and at Real Estate Agent’s Course FURV. Her fields of research are tenancy law, construction law, property rights, housing policies and alternative funding for real estate development.
Ms. Núria Lambea Llop is a doctoral researcher in the UNESCO Housing Chair of the University Rovira i Virgili. She has a grant from the Catalan Government (Grant FI 2016) to undertake her PhD on models of social housing management in a comparative perspective. She has a Law Degree (2013) and a MSc in Corporate and Contractual Law (2014, A with honours; she won the first price on the II edition of the Young Researchers Competition of the Faculty of Legal Sciences with her master’s thesis), both by University Rovira i Virgili. She has undertaken three research stays at the TU Delft (the Netherlands, 2014), University of Birmingham (United Kingdom, 2017) and at the NUI Galway (Ireland, 2018).
She has been the main researcher in a project on the management of social housing in Catalonia (2014-2015, granted by the Escola d’Administració Pública de Catalunya) and member of the Reseach Group of three competitive projects on intermediate tenures in Catalonia (CEJFE 2014-2015), on housing tenures amendments (Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad 2015-2017) and on the principles guiding a new Urban Leases Act (CEJFE 2016-2017). She is currently a member of the Reseach Group of a project on collaborative housing (Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad 2018-2020). On the frame of her research, she has published several peer-reviewed articles and has participated in conferences and workshops both at an international and national level (Görlitz, Lisbon, Perpignan, Belfast, Zurich, Uppsala, Barcelona, Vilanova i la Geltrú, Tarragona, Reus).
Her main research fields are housing policies, social housing, intermediate tenures and tourist housing. She is currently lecturing at the Advanced course for Real Estate Agents and Managing of Real Estate (URV Foundation) and at the Tourism and Geography Degree (URV).
Gemma Caballé Fabra holds a degree in Law with the Extraordinary Award for the Rovira i Virgili University (2014). It was through her Final Degree Project during the final year of the degree when she initiated the first research tasks in the field of housing with the work: “The protection of mortgagors in Law 1/2013”. She has a Master of Business Law and Contracting in the same University (Course 2014/2015). She is currently doing her doctoral thesis, which deals with the real estate profession, particularly the new challenges of real estate agents. Another line of research conducted at the Housing Chair is related to the concept of housing, which was materialized with the Final Master Project: “An approach to the legal concept of housing”. She obtained the highest academic qualification. In June 2015 he made a stay at the University of Essex (England) for obtaining literature specialized related to the concept of housing. She has participated with the presentation of the communication: “The concept of home” at the International Congress ENHR (European Network for Housing Research) held in Lisbon from 29 June to 1 July 2015. She has also given an invited lecture for school of Public Administration of Catalonia on negative incentives for the occupation of homes, as well as various contributions to congresses, conferences and international workshops. He has worked in various fields of research related to real estate, such as “condohotels”, intermediate tenures and housing policies.
Emma López Solé
Associate lecturer of Civil Law. Law degree from the Rovira i Virgili University, LLM in International & European Law (Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK) and Masters in Alternative Dispute Resolution: Mediation (IL3-Universitat de Barcelona). Specialist in conflict resolution and business organizations. She worked as a deputy judge in the region of Tarragona. She started working in the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in 2003 as a manager of audit and quality brand mediation of the Legal Services Commission in the UK. Lawyer no. 2140 in Tarragona (ICAT); certified mediator of the Mediation Center of Private Law Justice Department of Catalonia; CEMIC and registration of mediators Council of Chambers of Commerce of Catalonia. Also founding member of Addo Conflict Resolution. She is the co-director and coordinator of graduate specialization in mediation of the Foundation of the Rovira i Virgili University.
The following scholars have carried out their research within the Housing Chair.
Dr. Kurt Xerri
Kurt Xerri is a doctor in Law for the Universitat Rovira i Virgili. His research focuses on Maltese post-war housing policy with particular regard to tenancy law. He has an LL.D and an MA (cum laude) from the University of Malta and was also appointed as a young researcher in the European TenLaw Project co-ordinated by the European University Institute (Bremen). He has also participated in the EU Pilot Project on Preventing Evictions and Homelessness were he was selected as the Maltese rapporteur by the managing consortium. Besides the said contributions he has also co-authored articles with Prof. Dr. Sergio Nasarre-Aznar (URV), Dr. David Zammit (University of Malta) and Prof. Maria Olinda Garcia (University of Coimbra) and has presented his works in various conferences including: the ENHR2014 Conference in Edinburgh, the TenLaw meetings in Tarragona (June 2013), Delft (January 2014) and Ljubljana (October 2014) as well as the 19th General Meeting of the Common Core of European Private Law in Torino (2013). He is also a casual lecturer at the University of Malta.
Dr. Lorcan Sirr
Dr Lorcan Sirr is an expert in Irish housing policy, and teaches housing studies, urban economics, valuations and research methods at Dublin Institute of Technolgy in Ireland. He is the editor of several books including ‘Dublin’s Future: new visions for Ireland‘s capital city’ (Liffey Press, 2011), and most recently ‘Renting in Ireland: the social, voluntary and private rented sectors’ (Institute of Public Administration, 2014), as well as papers on housing, the future of higher education, and particularly, renting. Dr Sirr writes regularly for Irish newspapers including The Irish Times and Irish Independent, and provides analysis of housing and rental markets for Irish television and radio. He is currently researching new ways of providing housing based on the tender-and-contract method used to deliver large-scale infrastructure. Lorcan has an MA from the Katholiek Universiteit Leuven, and an MA and PhD from the University of Manchester.
Dr. Dorit Garfunkel
Dorit Garfunkel is a graduate in History and Law from the Tel Aviv University and holds a Masters in Urban Planning from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. Now, she is studying a PhD from Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.After her stay in the Housing Chair (URV), Ms. Garfunkel tells us her experience: “Having returned home and looking back at my visit to Tarragona I want to share with you my gratitude for making this visit a most successful and pleasant experience. Prof. Nassare and all of the team at the Housing Chair were so hospitable, helpful and supporting beyond all expectations. I found a most welcoming environment. My visit opened for me new vistas regarding the topics of my research. I feel very fortunate to have been able to meet so many interesting people and to benefit from the discussions, input, and comments about my work, the situation in Cataluña, the problems you are facing, the ideas you have, and policies that are followed. These will continue to guide my future work and thinking.’’
Dr Katarzyna Królikowska
During my stay at the Housing Chair URV in Tarragona, I concentrated on research on the theoretical foundation of legal transplants and legal borrowing in housing and property law. Staying here gave me an outstanding opportunity to discuss and explain the concept of shared and temporal ownership that was introduced into Catalan law in 2015. My research program on the migration of the common law intermediate tenures into civilian legal order was developed before my arrival and has also been filled with interesting events, inspiring conference on shared ownership and very knowledgeable international workshop with an Israeli researcher. The stay was so stimulating that I am working on a manuscript of a journal article for publication based on this research and will apply some of my findings in a commentary to Polish law on housing cooperatives. During my stay at the Housing Chair I also worked here on the development of holiday timeshare tenures, especially on the mutual influence of the national legislation and experience in Catalonia on the new EU Timesharing Directive and on the way the Directive was implemented in the Spanish and Catalan Civil Codes. I am expecting an article to be published on that topic in Poland that will help to improve Polish legislation on our growing domestic market. My research stay at the University of Tarragona has been a great experience on all accounts. I have learned more than I expected in the field of Catalan, Spanish and European property and housing law. The Chair provided me with facilities for conduction my research project. The interactions with the other researchers, as well as with the attendees of the workshops organized on spot, have been very intellectually stimulating. The staff are very friendly and extremely helpful. Tarragona is a safe and tranquil city which suits for studying and living. There is a beautiful university campus and a library making an easy access to the materials for my study, both situated close to well preserved ancient Roman Old Town, where 2300 years buildings give you a glimpse of Roman significant developments in housing. In the surroundings of the city one can observe the current housing market in the time of global economic recession resulting in shrinking residential construction activity after housing boom, social housing developments and the ways in which the immigrants are being housed. To sum up, Tarragona is the perfect fit if you want to deepen your interest in international comparison of European housing tenures”.
He is a researcher at Housing Observatory team within the Urban Development and Mobility Department of LISER, since May 2016. Prior to joining LISER, since 2012, he was working as an Assistant Professor at Built Environment Department at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) where he was teaching on 9 courses and guided 41 MSc projects. In July 2012, he finished his PhD in Real Estate and Planning in the doctoral programme of Design and Decision Support Systems at TU/e. During his PhD he received the ERES Award for the Best Paper. At the same university he received MSc degree in Real Estate Management and Development in 2007. Prior to that, he was working as an architect and urban planner in his hometown Belgrade where he have also started his studies and received a Dipl.-Ing. or MSc equivalent degree in Architecture and Planning in 2005. Since his PhD, my broad research focus on quantitative modelling applied in real estate and urban planning, with a special interest in decision support tools by which end users can experience the full potential of models and available data sets. He is a lead author of 2 working papers and 10 peer-reviewed journal articles among which are Journal of European Real Estate Research, Journal of Corporate Real Estate Research, ASCE Journal of Urban Planning and Development, Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science, and Land Use Policy.
His most recent studies relate to housing price measurement and developing new housing concepts for more and more mobile world. These two area of research are cover by two most recent projects.
First regarding the housing price measurement, is a project aim to provide real estate valuation suitable for both in-country and cross-border property transactions and thus enable citizens to make more informed, unbiased and better decisions in the housing market. This project therefore provides an automated valuation model for residential property that is based on a nonconventional data generated by prosumers and it minimizes very common valuation biases. In most countries, there is a lack of access to collected data for citizens necessary to build any automated valuation model or index. Furthermore, in more developed economies there is a lack of access to collected data for citizens because data is mostly recorded within notarial deeds and by retail banks. On the other hand, people make mistakes when they value property. The idea is therefore not only to deliver good market value estimates but also to provide trusted information and help end-users to exploit it in the best possible way. Eventually, the beneficiaries of this project are households or prosumers that would like to either buy or sell their home. This approach would enable them to determine an appropriate residential property asking price or to set an appropriate negotiation margin, independently.
The second project is started with collaboration with UNESCO Housing Chair at Rovira I Virgili University and Prof. Dr. Sergio Nasarre Aznar. This project specifically explores the future alternative to traditional tenures of ownership and tenancy meant for increasingly mobile population in Europe. More specifically, the current global trends of an increasing number of migration influence housing requirements including mostly affordability and location flexibility. These requirements can be articulated by different housing solutions can be formulated. Despite the fact that numerous researchers have been studying the effects of traditional housing tenures, investigating new housing solutions remained rather a limited field of study. Therefore, we introduced the term flexible housing to describe a housing solution that enables households to relocate with ease but at the same time it should provide security, habitability and affordability.
Initial steps for this project are made and a part of was arrange during my visiting scholar stay at Rovira I Virgili University in Tarragona. I have spent excellent three weeks that provided me a necessary time and inspiration for our first joint publication. Here I would like thank warmly to Housing Chair team and especially to Gemma, Nuria, Rosa Maria, Jordi and Sergio that make my stay not only productive but especially pleasant!