The Prime Minister described, this Tuesday, as “particularly happy” the solution found by the municipality of Seixal for the relocation of families from Vale de Chicharos (neighborhood of Jamaica) for facilitating social integration.
“The solution found in Seixal is particularly successful in seeking to mobilize existing housing, many in need of rehabilitation, and rehousing to be done in urban territory that is already consolidated and where social cohesion is more easily achieved”, said António Costa at a ceremony held in Seixal Town Hall, in the Setúbal district, after having visited the Jamaica neighbourhood.
This is the second time that António Costa has visited the neighborhood, having explained at the ceremony that he discovered the reality of those people, after having taken “a punch in the stomach” when watching the film S. Jorge, by Marco Martins, with many scenes to be recorded in Barrio da Jamaica.
“It was a film that took place in Vale de Chicharos and that showed a reality that was unknown and that many imagined had disappeared with the implementation of the program to eradicate tents at the beginning of the century”, he said.
The truth, explained the prime minister, is that since the beginning of the century, public housing policies have been disappearing and it was necessary that in 2016 a challenge be launched to build a new generation of housing policies”, he said, adding that the first contract between the State and the municipality was signed in 2017 and in December 2018 the first resettlements were carried out.
In his speech, António Costa referred that the management of the territory must be the responsibility of the municipalities, which are the entity that knows them best and that the resolution of this housing problem is one of the priority areas within the scope of the Recovery and Resilience Program (PRR ).
“It is important to have used the PRR for this purpose, because this allowed accelerating the execution of a program that we already had under contract with Seixal, but with national funds, municipalities and the State”, he said, adding that with the impetus of the European Union it was possible to advance more quickly, freeing up resources for other dimensions that were also necessary, such as affordable housing for young people and the middle class.
António Costa also said that housing needs in Portugal are now transversal in Portuguese society, involving young people who want to leave their parents’ homes to start their lives and the middle class, for which, he added, the Government has already marked a council of ministers for February 16 dedicated to the area.
One of the measures to be addressed, he explained, will be the provision of land for housing, buildings currently with other uses to be converted into housing and rental support.