Home Business Tent-dwelling migrants rally against Portugal’s costly housing

Tent-dwelling migrants rally against Portugal’s costly housing

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Tent-dwelling migrants rally against Portugal’s costly housing

Thousands of people took to the streets of Lisbon, Porto, and other cities in Portugal in protest against the skyrocketing rents and house prices that have left many unable to afford decent housing. The housing crisis in Portugal has been exacerbated by the country’s growing gentrification and record levels of tourism. The average monthly wage in Portugal is around 1,200 euros ($1,268), but the 65% increase in rents since the start of the tourism boom in 2015 has made apartments unaffordable for many. Sale prices have also risen by 137% in the same period, leaving migrants and precarious workers in a particularly vulnerable position.

The protests in Portugal highlighted the urgent need for affordable housing and criticized the government for not doing enough to address the crisis. The demonstrators demanded higher salaries, rent controls, and solutions for rising interest rates. The measures that were announced earlier this year, including curbs on Airbnb short-term rentals, were seen as insufficient to tackle the issue. Wealthy foreigners investing in property and a chronic shortage of affordable housing were also identified as contributing factors to the housing crisis.

The dire situation has left many people struggling to find suitable housing. Some, like Marcia Leandro from Brazil, have resorted to living in tents. Leandro moved to Portugal with aspirations of becoming a chef but was unable to afford rent after losing her job as a cleaner. She now lives in a tent, hoping to save money and eventually achieve her dream. Many migrants, like Leandro’s neighbor Andreia Costa, face similar challenges. Costa used to spend half of her monthly wage on renting a dwelling in her landlord’s garden and now aims to buy a caravan before winter hits.

Overall, the protests in Portugal shed light on the severe housing crisis that has disproportionately affected low-income individuals, migrants, and precarious workers in the country. The rallies served as a reminder of the pressing need for affordable housing solutions, higher wages, and comprehensive measures to address the root causes of the crisis. While the government has taken some steps to regulate the housing market, it is clear that more needs to be done to ensure that housing becomes a right accessible to all.

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