in Lisbon, the housing crisis is affecting many families, who sometimes find themselves on the street


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In Portugal, the housing crisis is pushing many families into the streets, despite stable jobs. In question, in particular, rents become inaccessible and landlords who break the law by renting their property without a residential lease. Extract from the magazine “We, the Europeans” of April 13, 2023.

In Lisbon, more than 26,000 families live in substandard housing. Added to this is a rise in rents, which makes renting inaccessible for many: + 53% on average in the space of five years.

Paulo and his family were left homeless. The owner who rented them accommodation took advantage of a domestic accident to take the keys back from them and rent this apartment again at a higher rate after having done some work: “Our kitchen caught fire, because of a machine. There were lots of rats in the apartment. They must have caused a short circuit”, says Joao, Paulo’s partner.

“We’ve been living in hotel rooms for three months”

“We’ve been living in hotel rooms for three months, we even spent a night in a van with the children”, testifies the mother of the family. “We even had to spend a night on the street”, Paul is sorry. In Portugal, having a rental contract is compulsory, but the owners do not respect the law. Paulo and his family were not protected by a lease, like many families living in precarious housing in the Portuguese capital.

Paulo works full-time at the neighborhood town hall. He earns 760 euros per month, which is no longer enough to cover rent in Lisbon. “It’s inhuman. I’ve been full-time for ten years, and I’ve been paying my taxes just to have a house, and not find myself in this situation. I work every day, it’s unfair. J am ashamed to be Portuguese.”

Excerpt from “The Portuguese upheaval”, broadcast in “We, the Europeans”, April 13, 2023.

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