Portuguese Govt. Extends Public Discussion Period on “More Housing” Bill By Two Weeks

Image credit: António Cotrim

The Portuguese government has extended the public discussion period for the “More Housing” (Mais Habitação) bill – which, among a wide range of housing-related proposals, seeks to end the country’s golden visa program – from March 10th to March 24th. It has also postponed the Council of Ministers vote on the proposal, initially scheduled for March 16th, until March 30th. The extensions were the result of a request from the National Association of Portuguese Municipalities (ANMP)

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Following that vote, the government will present the draft bill to Parliament, which will vote on it in its General Session. Presuming the draft gets parliamentary approval, a separate committee will prepare a final version of the bill that is once more presented to Parliament for approval. If Parliament approves the final draft, it will forward it to the President, who may accept the draft as is, request that Parliament make alterations, or accept the bill but request an evaluation from the Constitutional Court.

A number of the stakeholder proposals submitted during the public discussion period have questioned the constitutionality of the proposed legislation. Notably, the counter-proposal submitted by the Portuguese Association of Residential Tourism and Resorts (APR) remarked that the draft bill’s intention to retroactively apply the changes – by rendering invalid the applications submitted after February 16th (the day on which the government first announced its intentions) – was “excessively burdensome and certainly unconstitutional.”