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Portugal's President Sends 'More Housing' Legislation Back to Assembly for Modifications

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the President of Portugal, has sent back the proposed 'More Housing' legislation to the Assembly for additional modifications before it can be presented to him for final approval.

Portugal's President Sends 'More Housing' Legislation Back to Assembly for Modifications

This legislation encompasses various measures, including the termination of Portugal's Golden Visa route via property investment. The President has expressed his concerns in a letter accompanying the bill, where he criticizes the lack of clarity on how the promised outcomes will be achieved and deems it a "poor initial response" to urgent housing needs.

The President has pinpointed six key issues with the legislation. He emphasizes that the State will not directly undertake new housing construction responsibilities, except on a limited scale using European funds. He has voiced skepticism about the effectiveness of supporting cooperatives or utilizing vacant public or private properties for affordable rentals, citing bureaucratic delays and overwhelmed entities as hurdles. Furthermore, the President questions the viability and impact of implementing compulsory rentals and the intended accommodation regime.

In his letter, the President has called upon the Parliament to revise the bill to alleviate the financial burdens that many families are experiencing due to interest rate hikes and escalating rents. He has stressed that the current version of the legislation lacks credibility for immediate implementation and falls short of motivating necessary mobilization among all stakeholders, including the public and private sectors.

While the President has not explicitly referenced the Golden Visa scheme in his communication, the 'More Housing' Bill aims to eliminate one of its prominent pathways – residence permits for property buyers in Portugal. The Assembly's iteration of the legislation aimed to remove two routes for obtaining a Portuguese Golden Visa: property purchase and transferring at least €1 million to a Portuguese bank account.

While the bill has been returned to the Parliament for further adjustments, the fate of the Golden Visa provisions remains uncertain. Data provided by the Portuguese Immigration and Border Service (SEF) indicates that a total of 861 golden visas were granted in the first half of 2023, with €7,157,485,864.42 invested in Portugal through this program during the same period.



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