Housing Minister argues that gold visa regime “makes no sense

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Marina Gonçalves points out that “it is important to reconcile the will to invest in the country with the need to increase the housing stock.

The Minister of Housing, Marina Gonçalves, argues that it “does not make sense” for a residence permit for investment activity, the so-called gold visas, to coexist with the current general visa regime.

The governor points out that the end of gold visas is one of the measures that are part of the legislative package for housing proposed by the government, which allows to “combat speculation” in the value of real estate.

“It is important to reconcile the will to invest in the country with the need to increase the housing stock,” said Marina Gonçalves at the start of the conference “More Housing – Protection, Regulation or Brake?” organized by the Jornal Económico in partnership with CMS.

Gold visas have been in effect since 2012, but the government has suspended the approval of new applications since February 16, when the proposals for the legislative package were presented, which is now under public discussion until March 10. Since then, Gold Visa renewal applications can only be approved in cases where the property is being used as a permanent residence by the owners or their descendants, or is being rented for at least five years.

The minister also took the opportunity to emphasize that one of the most controversial measures, that of compulsory purchase, “is an instrument that should be available to municipalities,” recalling that the measure is already provided for in current legislation, “but only applies to vacant properties in need of rehabilitation.

According to the proposal, the government wants to create a regime of forced lease on vacant housing properties that “may be subject to forced lease by municipalities, for subsequent subletting under public housing programs. According to the document under public consultation, owners of vacant properties approached by the state will have a period of 100 days to put the property to use and avoid forced leasing. If the vacant properties are not habitable, the value of the work will be deducted from the rents charged.

The diploma also provides that, in order to identify vacant properties, companies providing essential services (water, gas, electricity and telecommunications) will have to provide municipalities with an updated list of houses where no consumption is detected on an annual basis.

These are just two of several measures that are included in the legislative package proposed by the government and that the Housing Minister insists “is not a paradigm shift”, defending that the measures are “a complement to an ongoing response to support families that today cannot find an answer in the market” for housing.

Source https://eco.sapo.pt/2023/03/07/ministra-da-habitacao-defende-que-regime-dos-vistos-gold-nao-faz-sentido/

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