The Irish Government has put forward a new Local Housing (AL) Act with the aim of increasing the number of homes on the rental market. But, after analysis, the European Commission (EC) has decided to block Ireland's plan to tighten the AL rules. This means that Brussels has the power to block new laws that may affect the AL measures that the Portuguese Government has put forward in the Mais Habitação programme.
In the case of Ireland, the EC considered that the new AL law had "disproportionately restrictive" measures and that they did not offer guarantees of effectively increasing the number of houses available in the long-term rental market. Now the Irish AL plan are under analysis and will be frozen until the end of the year, according to a report by Dinheiro Vivo.
It now remains to be seen whether the measures relating to AL that are part of the More Housing package may or may not have a similar fate. For now, Brussels is awaiting information from the Portuguese Government on the AL measures, which "will be analysed in the light of European rules".
These European standards require, for example, that restrictions placed on short-term accommodation must respect principles of "proportionality" and be "appropriate and fundamental to protect public interest objectives".
This means that the controversial measures surrounding the AL – which involve the suspension of new licenses and the transfer of houses to the rental market – can even be stopped by Brussels, if they are considered to be disproportionate, affect the tourist offer or do not bring guarantees of placing more houses on the long-term rental market.