Government must work with municipalities to solve housing problem

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Housing Minister Marina Gonçalves assured us today in Loule, in the Algarve, that the government is working with all the country’s municipalities to solve the housing shortage.

“All the municipalities are working in the same direction, which is very important. What we are doing differently than in the past is that the State, through IHRU (Institute of Housing and Urban Rehabilitation), is proposing a structural program that is the first right,” said Marina Gonçalves.

The housing minister explained that this program “does not depend on the PRR [recovery and resilience plan], but is a program to help municipalities obtain financing and co-financing to meet housing needs, whether for low-income families or the middle class”.

Shortly before, the official had attended the signing of the contract for 64 homes in the Clona housing estate near the Salgema mine, a project included in Loulé’s local housing strategy.

“We started working a few years ago and the fruits of that labor are starting to show,” said Loulé Mayor Vítor Aleixo.

Loulé City Council intends to help 1,400 households gain access to housing by 2030 through the construction of new homes and the rehabilitation of others, some of which will be part of an agreement signed in 2020 with the government.

Of the total number of households that the municipality estimates it will need to support over this decade, solutions are already planned for 320 eligible households and 100 direct beneficiaries, for a total of 420 households, under the agreement between IHRU and the municipality.

The total planned investment is 43.7 million euros: IHRU is contributing 15.4 million euros, a subsidized loan of 25.5 million euros is planned, and the remaining 2.7 million euros will be financed by the local authority.

Projects include the acquisition of eight plots of land in the town of Loulé for the construction of 128 low-rent and affordable housing units, as well as the acquisition of properties in the historic center for rehabilitation.

In the parish of Almancil, there are plans to build 21 homes on land owned by the municipality, and in the parish of Quarteira, studies are underway and meetings are being held with owners to acquire land.

The local housing plan also calls for the rehabilitation of the Bairro Municipal Frederico Ulrich, which comprises 48 homes, and a single-family housing project in Salir, among others.

In the morning, the Minister of Housing visited the municipality of Olhão, also in the Faro district, where she was briefed on the progress of projects that will give some 360 families in the town access to decent housing by 2026.

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