PM António Costa
Promising housing in Oeiras today: PM António Costa

Costa announces €2.7 billion in EU ‘bazooka’ spending to invest in housing

26,000 homes to be constructed for families “without access to decent housing”

With so much in the way of political scandal swirling, prime minister António Costa spent this morning in Oeiras promoting the positive actions of his government in the achingly impoverished housing sector.

The PM announced a €2.7 billion investment – thanks to PRR (Plan for Recovery and Resilience) funding from Brussels – that will go towards constructing 26,000 homes for families in need “who have no access to decent housing”.

On top of this, the government also has a “new programme for accessible housing for young people”, he said – albeit the terms and details of this programme have yet to be explained. 

Mr Costa admitted that a lot more is needed, in terms of house building, than the PRR can provide.

Housing is the “second strongest component of the PRR”, he said – but there is a great deal further to go.

“I have been working with the housing minister so that we can soon announce a law that responds to various needs”, he promised.

One of these needs is for “more urban land, so that we can have more construction; another (is) to put properties that have been withdrawn from the housing market back on the housing market” and then there is the plan to create “a set of fiscal measures that give the right incentives for landlords to safely put more houses up for rent.

All this was said without any concrete details, but it was at least conversation in the right direction.

Right now, throughout the country, young people are invariably incapable of getting on the housing ladder due to house prices, and rental costs are generally much too high for early stage earners.

Landlord associations also complain vociferously that tax regimes almost leave them better off if they stop renting.

In other words, there is a long way to go in terms of housing and improving ‘housing stock’ in an area that is overseen by the youngest minister in the history of Portuguese democracy.

natasha.donn@portugalresident.com