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António Costa's statements about the housing package

Prime Minister pointed out that there are 230 Local Housing Strategies "duly signed and contracted" in the country


Photo: António Cotrim/Lusa

The Prime Minister, António Costa, said this Tuesday, February 28, that the program More Housing will allow to have "transitional solutions" to respond to cases of "emergency" and while building the "definitive solutions" using the Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR).

"That's why we launched this new program, More Housing, because we must have solutions, some of them transitional to respond to this period, while the definitive solutions are being built or to respond to emergency situations," said Prime Minister António Costa, during the debate "More Housing - New answers", which took place in Matosinhos.

António Costa highlighted that, at this moment, there are in the country 230 Local Housing Strategies "duly signed and contracted", 1200 houses completed and more than 11 thousand under construction or project.

"We have the goal of building 26 thousand houses by the end of 2026, only in the 1st Right program for the neediest families, but there is a reality, is that housing takes time to build, but each family, each generation of young people, each middle class family needs housing solutions today and not only tomorrow", he stressed.

Saying that this is the reason why the Government launched the Mais Habitação program, António Costa highlighted its two "real" goals: "protect families and "increase the number of affordable houses for Portuguese families".

In the debate, António Costa listed the various measures that the program includes to "protect families", such as support for home loans, the possibility of fixed-rate contracts or exemption from capital gains, as well as the "measures to increase the number of homes", such as the increase in affordable housing.

The prime minister also stated that Portugal is "one of the countries in Europe where the supply of public housing is the lowest.

"In Portugal, only 2% of the housing stock is public and that is why in the RRP we have the 2.7 billion euros to advance significantly over the next four years in the recovery of this backlog," he said, also reinforcing that while building the public housing stock, answers are needed.

"It is not enough to sign the construction contract so that the house is ready the next day. We have to have public supply in the meantime and we have, above all, to encourage private owners to put their houses on the market. There is no justification for those who have a house to keep it locked up and not monetize this patrimony that is an income for themselves, but is a house for those who need housing", he highlighted.

The More Housing program was approved in the Council of Ministers and will be under public discussion for a month. The proposals go back to the Council of Ministers for final approval on March 16, and then some measures still have to go through Parliament.

The Government wants to expand the number of homes available in the affordable housing program (PAA) and to this end is planned a rate of 6% in construction or rehabilitation of houses that are mostly allocated to this program (at least 70%), promising IMI exemption for three years (extendable for five more years) and exemption from IMT on the acquisition for rehabilitation.

Among other measures, the More Housing program also includes the creation of a tax regime for houses currently allocated to the Housing Authority and that are transferred to the rental market, which includes an IRS exemption for rental income until December 31, 2030.

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