Centro de Alojamento de emergência Social do Algarve
Photo @ LUÍS FORRA/LUSA

Soaring house prices drive more people to Algarve Emergency Accommodation Centre

“We are talking about an average of €500 to €700 for a T0 or a T1. This is impractical for those earning the minimum wage”, says Centre official Fábio Simão.

Soaring house prices are leading increasingly more people to the Algarve’s Social Emergency Accommodation Centre (CAES) on the outskirts of Faro, preventing several families from falling into homelessness.

Algarve CAES official Fábio Simão says many factors lead people in precarious situations to seek out the centre but doesn’t hesitate to point out the housing crisis as the main one.

“We are talking about people, some of which are employed. But there is no answer. There are no houses to rent. There are no houses with decent prices for a person to live in,” said Simão to Lusa news agency.

The centre, located in a vacant building provided by the Ministry of Agriculture in Braciais, on the outskirts of Faro, has already hosted 154 people since its opening on September 1, 2022.

“We are talking about an average of €500 to €700 for a T0 or a T1. This is impractical for those earning theminimum wage”.

According to the centre’s management, “unprotected” people and families without the means to pay for a house go to the Algarve CAES first due to situations of unemployment and then due to domestic violence, loss of autonomy, eviction, illness or fire.

“The CAES aims to prevent people from being on the street. They are homeless people after all because they don’t have a home”, says Fábio Simão, who is involved in several projects to help the most disadvantaged.

Without homes at affordable prices, CAES prevents these people from becoming homeless, providing them with valuable support for three or, at most, six months.

The situation tends to get worse

According to Fábio Simão, who is also the president of the Support Movement for AIDS Problems (MAPS), in recent months, there has been an increase in the number of people needing help in the Algarve.

He says that the number of homeless people used to decrease between summer and Christmas, but that did not happen this year.

According to the figures provided to Lusa, around 70% of the people helped are of Portuguese nationality, 20% are European, and 10% are from outside Europe.