The Portuguese government announced on the 16th of February a bold array of measures to tackle the perceived scarcity of houses for rental and the escalating prices of both rents and house prices.
The government emphasized several lines of action: protecting families, tackling speculation, increasing the supply of housing for sale, and renting at affordable prices.
Some measures are simple and sensible like direct subsidies to vulnerable families affected by the escalation of interest rates or rents, simplifying building permits, and certain positive tax incentives for landlords that commit to long-term rentals at controlled prices.
However, there is the political and public outcry from what is perceived as demagogic and inconsequent textbook Marxist measures.
Recent polls have shown that more than 60% of Portuguese are against the program, the President has publicly lambasted most of the measures as unconstitutional and every opposition party is against them.
The revolt was driven by proposals of the State taking possession of vacant houses and forcing their rental (Portuguese middle classes own a lot of property as an umbrella for rainy days and distrust the courts when evicting tenants timely), laws to actually kill all short rentals everywhere in the country (it represents 50% of tourist stays and is a supplementary income for some middle-class households), the abrupt end of Golden visas, among others.
A public discussion period opened to civil society, is ongoing until the 30th of March. Valadas Coriel was one of the 2.000 entities to contribute to the debate.
See our full statement, written by our Managing Partner, João Valadas Coriel, here.