The first protocols and contracts in the scope of renting to sublease should be signed later this month and the expectation of the Minister of Housing, Marina Gonçalves, is that it will be possible to reach 300 contracts this year.
“Our goal is still this month to sign the first protocols and the first lease contracts and what we expect this year (…) is, in this first phase, (…) 300 lease contracts”, said the minister of Housing, in an interview with Lusa.
Marina Gonçalves specified that not all of them correspond to ready-to-live-in houses, with these lease contracts being fractions that are under construction, but reiterated that the objective is to have this “margin of solution” by the “end of the year”.
Leasing to sublet is part of the More housing programme, whose proposal is under discussion in parliament, with Marina Gonçalves specifying that this, like the other measures, should not be seen in isolation.
“We don’t think we’re going to solve housing problems with renting to sublease or with rent support, if we look at the measure in isolation. But each of these measures represents one more housing, one more public support, one more housing guarantee for the families”, explains the holder of the Housing portfolio, stressing that the objective with all the measures is to achieve “the maximum of responses in the short term”, until having “a robust response in the medium term from public housing”.
“If in each program I manage to get 300, 400, 500, 2,000 homes at prices compatible with the families’ income, if in each program I manage to give these families access to decent housing, in fact, in the sum of all this, I am helping many families”, says the minister, in response to criticism that Mais Habitação lacks focus and is dispersed over too many measures.
Stressing that the priority continues to be the expansion of the public housing offer, he recalls that construction and rehabilitation do not happen overnight, and that the short-term response lies in understanding what instruments exist to reach more families .
Among these quick response instruments is, for example, support for rents that began to reach the first families in May and which has a maximum monthly value of 200 euros, with the survey already carried out pointing to this help reaching more than 180 thousand aggregates.
Asked whether she admits to adopting more measures of this immediate and urgent nature, Marina Gonçalves did not rule out this scenario: “Of course”, she said.
“We will define the measures according to the assessment we make of the evolution of the housing market and the needs of families”, he added.
With these measures, the official expects that “they will respond to the needs of the population”, but the policy and the evaluation of the measures that can be implemented is done “continuously”.
“We must always have this openness to perceive, at every moment, the effectiveness of these measures”, he specified.
In the distance is a scenario of a new freeze on evictions, similar to what happened during the covid-19 pandemic, with Marina Gonçalves pointing out that this type of solution ends up bringing more instability.
“[Com a suspensão dos despejos] we are not responding to the objective, which is to provide that stability, because while the suspension is taking place, we have a relationship between parties that, in fact, is not a relationship of trust, because there is an obligation arising from the law and at the end of the process we will always have a housing problem for this household”, says the minister.