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Portugal’s Bold Package for More Housing

Portugal’s Bold Package for More Housing -
Portugal’s Bold Package for More Housing - Portugal Business News

Portugal has decided to be pro-active in the face of the current housing crisis and has just approved a bold Package for More Housing. In order to combat speculation, Portugal will no longer grant Golden Visas.

Portugal’s Council of Ministers has just approved a set of measures that aims at responding to all aspects of Portugal’s severe housing crisis. Portugal’s Package for More Housing (Programa Mais Habitação) is to be the subject of a national debate that will last one month before it is enacted on March 16th.

According to Portugal’s Prime Minister, housing is the main concern of the Portuguese people since it is not only affecting the disadvantaged, but all families including the youth and the middle-class.

The Package for More Housing addresses specific areas, namely increasing housing supply, simplifying licensing procedures, increasing the number of houses on the rental market, taking measures to combat speculation, providing family support and implementing a new generation of housing policies.

For the local tourist accommodation (AL) sector, Portugal intends to review all tourism licenses in 2030 and will issue no more licenses unless they are in rural areas. For house owners who convert their tourism license for a residential one by 2024, they will have a tax holiday until 2030. People who choose to buy houses for low-cost housing will be exempted from property purchase tax, while those who do renovation works for low-cost housing will pay only 6% VAT and will be exempted from income tax on property income.

In order to increase the number of houses on the rental market, the State will rent all available houses for a period of five years in order to sublet. There will be an exemption of capital gains tax for those who choose to sell housing to the State. New rental contracts will have limits to rent increases and rents will only increase by the inflation rate set by the ECB. New housing loans by financial institutions will only be allowed at a flat rate. Moreover, if tenants fail to pay rent for 3 months, the State will replace the tenant and pay rent subject to it being a social cause.

It is to be noted that Portugal intends to convert commercial property into residential property as needed. In order to increase housing supply, the State will provide land and buildings for low-cost housing and there will be two tenders for model construction that shortens construction time and increases energy efficiency. Municipalities will have access to a credit facility of EUR 150 million in order to fund mandatory works.

Under the Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR), the Government has allocated EUR 2.7 billion to increase housing supply and 26,000 new houses are yet to be built following a tender procedure.


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