The confirmation of decree 81/XV, which approves measures in the field of housing, making several legislative changes, was made possible by the absolute majority of the PS, with votes against from the PSD, Chega, Liberal Initiative, PCP and Bloco de Esquerda (BE), and abstention from Livre and People-Animals-Nature (PAN), repeating the program's final global vote in July.
The opposition parties presented more than 320 amendment proposals for voting in the plenary, all of which were rejected by the socialist deputies, accompanied, depending on the case, by other parliamentary groups.
The decree of the Assembly of the Republic involves legislative changes in terms of leasing, local accommodation, vacant properties and taxes.
The most controversial and contested measures include the suspension of the registration of new local accommodation outside low-density territories and an extraordinary contribution on this business, the forced rental of houses that have been vacant for more than two years and the imposition of a limit on the value of new lease contracts for houses that are already on the market.
The package also provides for an exemption from capital gains taxation for owners who sell houses to the State, the end of new golden visas, an increase in the deduction for dependents under the Family IMI, changes to the autonomous rate of property income and exemptions taxes for owners who remove their houses from local accommodation by the end of 2024.
Deputy Márcia Passos, from the PSD, pointed out that the measures caused “social alarm” and had already resulted in “huge negative effects”, including the rise in the value of rents and the reduction in construction, accusing the Government of remaining “proudly alone” in managing the housing crisis.
On the left, deputy Mariana Mortágua (BE) stressed that “the program that the Government presented does not solve” the housing problem and accused the PS of living “in another world”, and listed measures that could solve the crisis: applying ceilings to rents, according to location and type, force banks to lower credit instalments, and prohibiting the sale of houses to non-residents.
Despite the veto on the package approved in parliament, a Government decree was promulgated by the President of the Republic that reforms and simplifies licensing related to housing, with Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa warning that he will be attentive to compatibility with the safety and quality of buildings.
With this simplification, architectural projects are now licensed only based on the designers' terms of responsibility and public entities will be penalized in the event of delays in issuing opinions.