Porto Municipal Assembly unanimously adopted the strengthening of the rent support programme with a further 1 million euros

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The Municipal Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution to strengthen the budget to the municipal programme Porto Solidário with a further 1 million euros, yesterday evening, on 24 May. Porto City Hall is a pioneer of such measure, which has been in effect since 2014, and currently other municipalities have been implementing the same measure.

The increase of the budget allocation, in the overall amount of 1.050 million euros will be staggered over three years - 2021, 2022 and 2023 – at an annual amount of 350 thousand euros.

The goal is that the 9th edition of Porto Solidário, a programme that received 747 applications, and has approved 419, may cover all the applications that have been submitted, confirmed the Mayor of Porto, Rui Moreira, in reply to a question from a member of the CDU party, Artur Ribeiro.

“It was precisely with the objective of covering the people that have submitted an application that we have decided to increase the endowment”, clarified Rui Moreira.

During this extraordinary session of the Municipal Assembly that took place in the auditorium of the Municipal Library Almeida Garrett, Rui Moreira also informed that “other municipalities started implementing programs inspired by the Porto Solidário, such as Lisbon”.

This programme is targeted at granting economic support to vulnerable households regarding house rent or purchase. This economic relief can go up to 350 euros per month. Besides the extended deadline to support rent and mortgage costs to 24 months, the programme also features a 25% reduction of the household effort rate as well as the possibility of beneficiaries applying again if the deadline is about to conclude, with the support being granted from the application date.

During the debate, the topic under discussion included the assessment of the municipal policies regarding housing support in Porto. In this regard, the Mayor highlighted that in addition to the “traditional response” of social housing, the Municipal Executive has been implementing other mechanisms, such as the Porto Solidário programme, to support families.

“Porto is, at present, one of the Municipalities that invests the most in the municipal building stock and that assigns the largest number of houses to households, per year”, affirmed Rui Moreira, furthering that “the right to housing is a fundamental right”, enshrined in the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, and that it is precisely the government that should act in this issue, and that “the Municipality of Porto assigns circa 300 houses , per year, in excellent habitability conditions”, and that in the past six years, the City Hall has invested “125 million euros for the rehabilitation and maintenance of social neighbourhoods, with 28 million euros planned for this year, in a total of 153 million euros”.

Also regarding the support provided by the Municipality, compared to the ones provided by the Government, Rui Moreira compared figures: “the Social Security only has 100 thousand euros per year to support vulnerable families; the Municipality of Porto alone has 3 million euros for the Porto Solidário; the city of Porto has the highest ratio regarding social housing, which is circa 13 thousand dwellings; IHRU [Institute for Housing and Urban Rehabilitation] has 1.500 dwellings. Porto City Hall cannot shoulder this responsibility on its own”, stated Rui Moreira.

Rui Moreira also discussed the “rather intense” challenge of the PPR (Plan for Recovery and Resilience), with the so-called bazooka being implemented until 2026. “The figures must make us ponder if we are doing an equitable sharing of the burden”, enhanced Rui Moreira.