The new government program: "Construir Portugal. Nova Estratégia para a Habitação".

13 May 2024

Last Friday, May 10, the government presented the "Building Portugal. New Strategy for Housing" programme. Thirty measures were announced as part of the strategy, which will be implemented in ten days to four months.

 The strategy is divided into six priorities, namely: 1) encouraging supply by making property available and reducing costs; 2) promoting public housing; 3) restoring confidence in renting; 4) simplifying legislation; 5) promoting youth housing; and 6) ensuring housing affordability.

Below, we share the 30 measures presented and their respective implementation periods: 

Encouraging supply (making property available and reducing costs)

1. Provision of public housing (build-to-rent) with affordable rent/price under a Public-Private Partnership (90 days);

2. Semi-automatic legal regime for the use of vacant or underutilised public buildings through the presentation of a housing project on a case-by-case basis, to be carried out by municipalities and, if necessary, with private partners (10 days);

3. Amendment of the land law to allow the use of rustic land for sustainable housing solutions (at controlled costs, for affordable rent, for temporary accommodation or for function houses for teachers, security forces, agricultural and industrial workers and the tourism sector (60 days);

4. Creation of constructive bonuses to increase urban density indices and limits in affordable housing projects, affordable rentals or temporary accommodation (90 days);

5. New urban centres around areas of urban pressure, with sustainable urban plans and in coordination with the transport offer (study in 120 days);

6. State guarantee for credit for building co-operatives with delivery of public land (90 days);

7. Credit lines to promote build-to-rent (60 days);

8. Pact with agents in the sector to increase construction capacity, involving stability of production capacity, industrialisation of the process, and attraction and qualification of resident labour;

9. Reduction of VAT to the minimum rate of 6 per cent for housing rehabilitation and construction works, with limits depending on prices (until the end of the legislature);


Promoting public housing

10. Unblocking of 25,000 houses under the Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR) with the adoption of a term of responsibility from local councils, in order to speed up the processes (10 days);

11. Increased funding to enable the development of thousands of other candidate fires not funded in the RRP (30 days);

12. Strengthen IHRU's promotion capacity through Construção Pública EPE (formerly Parque Escolar) in the completion of homes under the Affordable Rent Programme (10 days);


Restoring confidence in leasing

13. Revocation of the forced lease, respecting property rights (10 days);

14. Revocation of the Mais Habitação guarantee measure and replacement of the State as tenant (30 days);

15. Correcting the distortions introduced into the Urban Lease Regime over the last eight years in order to restore flexibility and confidence to the lease market (appoint a working group);

16. Creation of the investment contract for built-to-rent and available-to-let;


Simplifying legislation

17. Make it possible to take out one or more insurance contracts through a provider other than the lender's preferred one, promoting healthy competition in the market;

18. Revision of the Simplex Urbanístico, with regulation, deepening and improvement of the legislation on urban administrative debureaucratisation and simplification (90 days);

19. Approve the Building Code;

20. Implementing the use of the BIM (Building Information Modelling) methodology and bringing municipal licensing platforms closer to the interface with economic agents (120 days);

21. Adapt the concept of controlled costs and affordable rent to reflect the affordable housing segment in each place and time, generating greater predictability and permanence for the market (120 days);

22. Repeal of the Extraordinary Contribution on Local Accommodation (CEAL), of licence expiry and transferability, and the change to the coefficient of ageing, decentralising regulation to the municipalities (10 days);

23. Creation of the IHRU (Instituto da Habitação e Reabilitação Urbana) Portal to monitor application processes to increase transparency (120 days);


Promoting youth housing

24. Public guarantee for young people to enable bank financing for the purchase of their first home (15 days);

25. Exemption from IMT and Stamp Duty on the purchase of a first home for young people up to the age of 35 on properties up to the 4th IMT bracket, i.e. up to 316,000 euros (15 days);

26. Reformulation of the Porta 65 rental support programme to put the young person's economic reality first, putting an end to exclusions based on rent limits (15 days);

27. Student Accommodation Emergency Programme (15 days);

28. Implementation of the National Accommodation Plan 2025-26, with the offer of an additional 18,000 beds (30 days);


Ensuring accessibility to housing

29. Streamlining rent subsidy programmes, eliminating restrictions, particularly on lapses (30 days);

30. Create a transitional regulation between supported rents and affordable rents to ensure that there are no discontinuities in support (120 days).


In this link, you will find the document shared by the government, in which the 30 measures presented are systematised.

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