Last week, the Portuguese government announced new measures to address the country’s housing crisis, including ending the so-called “golden visa” program and banning short-term vacation rental licenses such as Airbnbs. The goal is to encourage owners of vacant properties to make them available for long-term renting due to the high cost of homes and rentals.
The plan, which was approved by Prime Minister Antonio Costa’s cabinet, has been met with criticism from property owners who claim it violates the constitution. The “More Housing” plan is an attempt to increase the housing supply in a tight real estate market that has become unaffordable for many local residents. The new rules would also limit rent increases, speed up the process for building permits, and cancel the “golden visa” program.
Opposition parties have spoken out against the government’s plan, calling it an “attack” on private property rights. However, Housing Minister Marina Goncalves defended the policy, saying it would not violate the constitution and that the right to property would not be called into question.
The housing package will be discussed until March 16, when the cabinet will vote on a final approval. The remaining part of the package will then be voted on by lawmakers in parliament, where the ruling Socialist Party holds a majority.