Government “refurbish for rent” programme falters

 In News

A Portuguese government programme aimed at encouraging landlords to rent properties at affordable rents is failing.

The programme “Rehabilitar para Arrendar” (Refurbish for Rent) has only financed 10 projects in three years since it was launched in 2015 with investment from the European Investment Bank.

And some of the loans repayments on European Investment Bank loans brokered by the Institute of Housing and Urban Rehabilitation are overdue.

Landlords were offered up to €25 million in loans to refurbish their properties or build properties specifically for the affordable rental market.

However, only 10 projects were submitted over the three years according to the Institute of Housing and Urban Rehabilitation (IHRU) for properties providing housing at accessible rents.

The European Investment Bank based in Luxembourg has confirmed that it “has detected delays in implementing the “Refurbish for Affordable Rent” scheme and has approached the IHRU which has requested an extension on the final loan payment date.

The European Investment Bank has granted an extension on repayments until 28 November 2019. The focus is on the integral rehabilitation of dilapidated buildings developed by private entities or companies and which is aimed at fixed-rent affordable housing.

In 2015 the Government approved the programme as one of “interest for the national economy and framed its urban rehabilitation housing policy with attendant social and economic benefits.”

The European Investment Bank has lent a total of €300 million for the Rehabilitation for Rent scheme.