Massive Protests in Portugal Demand Housing Rights for Thousands

Thousands of people demonstrated on Saturday afternoon in Lisbon and other major cities in Portugal demanding the right to housing, in particular rent regulation and more social housing.

According to Agence France Presse, the demonstrators carried banners reading “Housing is a right for all” and “Housing is a right or a privilege?”

The right to housing movement explained that the demonstrators are calling for “the right to housing for all, which is a right enshrined in the constitution” while families suffer from high prices.

To deal with the real estate crisis, the government approved a plan last Thursday aimed at increasing affordable housing in the country, which includes about 730,000 empty or dilapidated homes, as one of its main measures involves ending the issuance of golden visas and residence permits. issued to wealthy foreigners. investors to reduce speculation in the real estate market.

For its part, Eurostat, the European statistical office, indicated that home purchase prices in Portugal rose by more than 75% between 2010 and 2022, while rental prices rose by about 25%.

The housing scheme also provides tax breaks for owners who offer seasonal rentals on the housing market and list apartments that have been empty for more than two years in major cities, as well as measures to help families cope with higher rents.

Rita Silva, an activist for the Habita Right to Housing Association, who has criticized the government’s plan, said the latter should prioritize social housing, allowing it to “provide housing that matches families’ incomes.”

Source: AFP

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