Government Housing Package postponement
The Portuguese government has decided to postpone ratifying part of its controversial Housing Package which in a bid to solve some of Portugal’s housing shortage, has stirred up a hornets nest of property developers, investors, landlord, guest house, and estate agency associations.
It says it will wait for reports and reactions from municipal councils and will only be approved on March 21 at the next meeting of the Director Council.
It means that the public consultation period has been extended (it was originally just 10 days, with two days to mull over opinions from public bodies and associations).
Now final approval by the Government will be on March 30 before being passed on to the parliament for discussion.
At the next meeting of the Council of Minsters only two decree laws will be approved, the ones regarding extraordinary rental support and interest-free or low interest subsidies on mortgages for low-income families, so that “aid to families gets to those who most need it quickly”, states the Ministry of Housing.
On February 18, at a joint press conference of the Prime Minister, the Minister of Finance, and the Minister of Housing, the Government unveiled legislative package (More Housing) which was to go to public consultation until 13 March, before being approved at the Council of Ministers meeting on March 16.
But the Government can only approve some parts of the programme after receiving feedback from the National Association of Municipal Councils, which will be approved on March 21, although their recommendations and comments are not legally binding and the Government can choose to ignore them.
Photo – Portugal’s Housing Minister, Maria Gonçalves: Lusa