Porto com Sentido
06 May 2020
"Porto com Sentido" advances and expands municipal policy on affordable housing

The proposal of the recently announced programme "Porto com Sentido", will be discussed by the Municipal Executive next Monday. The initiative of the independent majority, fundamentally, the inclusion in the rental market of properties that are currently destined to Local Accommodation, capturing private housing hitherto unavailable, through municipal intervention, in an investment of more than 4.3 million euros. The owners of the buildings that adhere to the programme will receive total exemption from IMI taxation.


"Porto com Sentido” is created with the objective of introducing two types of properties to the housing rental market: dwellings currently on the local housing market or houses available on the property purchase and sale and rental market, with respect for competitive mechanisms and safeguarding the public interest.


In the proposal signed by the councillor for Economy, Tourism and Commerce, Ricardo Valente, the programme's assumptions are described, among which stands out the total exemption from IMI of buildings that enter into lease agreements with the Municipality of Porto under this initiative.


Prior to the signing of the lease, it is stipulated to carry out an inspection of the housing properties, in order to ensure that they are in adequate conditions of safety, health and comfort; an increase in income of up to 10% will be allowed for the rental of furnished properties; and the subletting of housing properties to families will be done upon prior registration and drawing.


The municipality also guarantees the scrupulous and timely fulfillment of the rent payment obligation, given that, by contractual means, "the Municipality ensures that all risks and costs arising from any sub-tenant default are eliminated".


The base price set in "Porto com Sentido” conditions will correspond to a "brake" rent price, which means that the supply and demand mechanisms will always work below this value, "the type of lease contracts not being able to be entered into. with the Municipality, establish income values ​​higher than those presented", explains Ricardo Valente's proposal.


Under the conditions of the programme, the Municipality also ensures that the "brake" value set for market consultations is significantly below the known values ​​of offer in the rental market for the set of parishes in Porto, of the value actually contracted for that same universe, but also the median of INE indicators.


The price conditions under which the Municipality predisposes to contract already reflect the tax benefits that the fires mobilized for the programme will benefit from, as regards the property income earned under the lease contracts concluded under the "Porto com Sentido”, during the duration of contracts, either by applying the rules contained in the State Budget Law for 2020, or with regard to the exemption from IMI to be decided by the Municipal Assembly.


Municipal investment estimated at 4 million euros


The estimated municipal investment for the "Porto com Sentido” programme is more than 4.3 million euros until 2022, a value that, according to the document that will be voted on the 11th, results from the consideration of an estimated average monthly income of 549 euros, less of the estimated monthly income received by the Municipality (both with reference values ​​for 2020).


In the proposal by the Rui Moreira’s Municipal Executive, it is further clarified that the financing of this support programme for the middle classes and young people will be made through the increase in tax revenue on real estate transactions that have been registered in recent years, as well as those resulting from the recent worsening of the IMT tax in transactions involving high-value properties.


The operational management of "Porto com Sentido” will be carried out through the municipal company Porto Vivo, SRU.


After the creation of the programme and the general conditions have been approved by the Municipal Executive, the document goes for approval by the Municipal Assembly.


It should also be remembered that the Municipality of Porto, even before the particularly difficult time in which it was living, had taken measures aimed at providing families, students and other inhabitants of Porto with housing alternatives for rent - namely through the launch of housing units on the market from Porto Vivo, SRU, in the Historic Center of Porto (Sé area) - thus giving a signal to the market that leasing is essential for the sustainability of the city.

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