Hundreds protest in Portugal over housing disaster

LISBON: Hundreds of individuals took to the streets of Lisbon and different cities throughout Portugal on Saturday in protest towards hovering rents and home costs at a time when excessive inflation is making it even more durable for individuals to make ends meet.

“There’s a large housing disaster at present,” Rita Silva, from the Habita housing group, stated on the Lisbon protest. “It is a social emergency.”

Portugal is one in all Western Europe’s poorest international locations, with authorities information exhibiting greater than 50% of employees earned lower than 1,000 euros ($1,084) monthly final 12 months. The month-to-month minimal wage is 760 euros.

Rents in Lisbon, a vacationer hotspot, have jumped 65% since 2015 and sale costs have sky-rocketed 137% in that interval, figures from Confidencial Imobiliario, which collects information on housing, present. Rents elevated 37% final 12 months alone, greater than in Barcelona or Paris, in keeping with one other actual property information firm, Casafari.

The state of affairs is especially exhausting on the younger.

The typical hire for a one-bedroom flat in Lisbon is round 1,350 euros, a research by housing portal Imovirtual confirmed.

The Socialist authorities introduced final month a housing package deal that, amongst different measures, ended the controversial “Golden Visa” scheme and banned new licenses for Airbnb properties however critics say it isn’t sufficient to decrease costs within the brief time period.

On the protest, which was organised by the motion “House to Stay” and different teams, 35-year-old illustrator Diogo Guerra stated he hears tales about individuals struggling to entry housing on daily basis.

“Individuals who… work and are homeless, individuals are evicted as a result of their home is become short-term lodging (for vacationers),” he stated.

Low wages and excessive rents make Lisbon the world’s third-least viable metropolis to reside in, in keeping with a research by insurance coverage brokers CIA Landlords. Portugal’s present 8.2% inflation fee has exacerbated the issue.

“With my wage, which is greater than the common wage in Lisbon, I can’t afford renting a flat as a result of it is too costly,” stated Nuncio Renzi, a gross sales government from Italy residing within the capital.