CML debates new public-private partnership model for affordable rent

CML debates new public-private partnership model for affordable rent

The Lisbon City Council's councillor for Housing defended, this Tuesday, a new public-private partnership model for housing. The aim is to build 550 homes with a 20% lower rent than the market average. The proposal will be discussed at Wednesday's executive meeting, according to Lusa.

Instead of being a concession format that runs through the Public Contracts Code, it will be a simple sale of the right of superficies over 90 years without the burden of ownership to have an affordable rent, explained the councillor for Housing, Filipa Roseta, at the meeting of the Lisbon Municipal Assembly.

The councillor recalled that the previous executive, under the PS presidency, created a working group in 2015 to launch partnership models for affordable housing. However, by 2021 it had not produced a single public-private partnership home. The current executive decided to redesign the model and reinvent it, because objectively it didn't work; the goal is to become much simpler from a legal point of view and much more attractive to the private sector.

We have allowed the rents to go up a little more than they were, they can be more equivalent to government rents and not municipal rents, to allow the operation itself to be paid for.

Filipa Roseta's proposal for this affordable housing program in partnership, to be implemented in the parishes of Benfica and Parque das Nações, proposes a 20% lower rent than the market. However, this approach does not convince the opposition parties, namely the PS and PCP, who have suggested changes to ensure that the maximum rent limits are in line with those established by the Lisbon City Council's Affordable Rent Program.

The PS pointed out that "the model now proposed, in the terms presented, is unacceptable because, for example, for a one-bedroom apartment in Parque das Nações, it increases the maximum rent from 500 to 900 euros, forcing a one-person household to earn more than 2,500 euros per month in order to fall within the 35% effort rate". The PCP proposes that the Municipal Regulation on the Right to Housing be applied, in order to prevent a one-bedroom apartment from having a maximum cost of 700 euros, or a two-bedroom apartment from having a rent of up to 970 euros, or a three-bedroom apartment from having a rent of up to 1,375 euros.

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