Casa Para Viver

Right to housing platform mobilises demonstrations in 19 cities

At least 19 cities are mobilising participants today to defend the right to housing inprotests called by the Casa Para Viver platform.

«We are not giving up», writes on social media, the collective of more than 100 associations that took thousands of people to the streets in two previous protests, in April and September of last year.

“The 25th of April turns 50 in 2024. Among many achievements, which we will also celebrate, we need to remember a right that was left behind: the right to housing”, highlights the platform, stressing: “We cannot leave the streets at such an important moment for the Portuguese population”.

Albufeira, Aveiro, Beja, Benavente, Braga, Coimbra, Covilhã, Évora, Faro, Funchal, Lagos, Leiria, Lisbon, Portalegre, Portimão, Porto, Setúbal, Sines and Viseu are the cities that responded affirmatively to the public appeal “We demand solutions!”, aimed “to make it very clear that the next government needs to have the resolution of the housing crisis as its main goal”.

This is how they present themselves: “We are tired of the same old conversation. On the fiftieth anniversary of the 25th of April, we continue to struggle to make ends meet at the end of the month with miserable salaries, incapable of buying or renting a house, and without money to live with dignity. We have to share a house until the age of forty, and we are pushed far from city centres, condemned to wasting two or three hours commuting each day, living in overcrowding, in houses without adequate conditions, or in panic due to the lack of alternatives when the owner decides not to renew the contract. We are victims of eviction to make way for hotels, tourist investments and luxury condominiums”.

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Given this, they defend measures such as lowering house payments, lowering and regulating rents and extending the duration of contracts; putting an end to evictions without alternative housing; reviewing all licenses for tourism speculation; ending the Non-Habitual Residents Statute, incentives for digital nomads, tax exemptions for luxury real estate and real estate funds; immediately placing vacant properties belonging to large owners, funds and companies on the market; increasing the public housing stock.

Today’s demonstration is the third for the right to housing organised by Casa Para Viver and aims to “mark the electoral campaign” for the early legislative elections on March 10.

“It’s good to see that this social movement has maintained consistency over time since April 1 of 2023», highlighted Vasco Barata, one of the platform’s spokespersons and member of the Chão das Lutas association.

“This gives us the guarantee that society is organised to demand answers for the housing problem and that this will inevitably continue after the elections», he believes.

In Lisbon, protesters will travel between the Alameda Dom Afonso Henriques and the Arco da Rua Augusta, where, in addition to interventions by the organisers, there will also be concerts by artists such as Catarina Branco, John Douglas, Luca Argel and Luís Severo.

LUSA