Four million euros for affordable housing: "Porto com Sentido" approved by the Municipal Assembly

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Miguel Nogueira

The programme "Porto com Sentido", which aims at including Local Housing property within the lease market, was approved yesterday, 18th May, by the Municipal Assembly, convened via videoconference, in a private session. 

This initiative by Porto City Hall seeks to introduce in the lease market two types of real estate: property under the Local Housing market or available property in the sales and rental market, respecting the competitive mechanisms operating in an integrated and liberalised market and safeguarding public interest.

Through "Porto com Sentido", estimates an investment worth 4.3 million euros till 2022, in a total of one thousand lease contracts extending over three to five years.

This amount is the result of an estimated average lease of 549 euros, deducted from the average monthly rent received by the Municipality (2020 reference values).

According to Rui Moreira, it is possible to implement this programme, which can "turn a problem into an opportunity", as there is "an available stock of houses in the city of Porto", to address this shortfall problem at affordable prices.

Highlighting that "municipalities alone are not able to solve housing problems", Rui Moreira said that "state resources should be mobilized", which is something that does not happen, with the Central State "selling equipment that could be earmarked for housing".

Among the measures included in this programme, it is important to enhance total IMI exemption of building apartments that conclude lease contracts with the Municipality of Porto, under this initiative.

Prior to the signing of a lease, an inspection is stipulated, to ensure that the necessary safety, health and working conditions are observed; also, an increase of up to 10 % of the rent amount will be allowed for the renting of furnished apartments. Subletting residential real estate to families will be done with advance registration and drawing of lots.

The Municipality ensures lease payment obligations by way of contracts and "typology lease contracts cannot establish rental value higher than the ones established".

Porto Vivo, SRU - Sociedade de Reabilitação Urbana do Porto, EM S.A. will be in charge of lease and subletting contract management concluded under the same programme.