The Vila Nova de Gaia Council wants to suspend new local accommodation registrations for six months and create a municipal regulation to try to “better regulate” the market and contribute to the reduction of lease prices.
The proposal of the socialist majority will be analysed and voted on at the city council meeting scheduled for Monday.
Subsequently, the issue will be taken to the Municipal Assembly.
If approved, this proposal will be valid for six months and may be renewed for the same period.
“We follow the evolution of the offer of local accommodation and we understand that for what is the dimension of Gaia, we already have a solid answer. A brake needs to be put on so that local accommodation is not the first priority that an owner has for his property. Local accommodation, at the moment, is not being the rehabilitation of pre-existing houses but is functioning as a rental replacement. So, it seems obvious to us that there has to be an intervention that disciplines this a little bit. And, in a way, we contributed to lowering prices [on leasing]”, said the mayor of Gaia, Eduardo Vítor Rodrigues.
Quality over quantity
To Lusa, the mayor explained that "at stake is also the issue of quality" and that the need for "some supervisory activity" was perceived.
“We think we already have a sufficient number of accommodations, but it is now necessary, in the annual renewal, to have a sufficiently judicious regulation to guarantee that what we are providing is in fact of quality. We have some reports of some cases where people have an expectation for some well-taken photographs, but then it does not correspond to reality”, said the mayor.
Eduardo Vítor Rodrigues defended that “tourism also loses if it has tourist offers that are not honest” and that “local accommodation also affects the image of the city”.
According to the mayor, "not many municipalities have this work done", a work that will include visits and "tests" to design a regulation to be ready in the middle of the year.
In the proposal that goes to the chamber meeting, and to which Lusa had access today, it is read that “the growth of tourism in the municipality, together with the increase in demand for real estate, has had an effect on the value of rents, which makes it unaffordable for the middle class”.
“It is proposed to deliberate (...) the immediate suspension of the authorization of new registrations of Local Accommodation, for a period of six months, without prejudice to its renewal for an equal period, until the entry into force of the Municipal Regulation of Local Accommodation throughout the entire municipal territory”, states the proposal.
The autarchy defends that “the safeguarding of the public interest in the fundamental right to housing and the balanced development of the tourism sector requires that rules be defined in its articulation, due to the fact that there is a significant number of family dwellings that were withdrawn from the housing market directly for the tourism sector.
“It is therefore necessary, and with the aim of defending the permanent housing available, in addition to public policies on housing under development in the municipal territory, to limit the installation of new local accommodation, in fact, already with a significant number of responses”, adds the document.