The Portuguese government is creating a specific programme of €4.5m to encourage “AL” holiday lets to be transformed to affordable rents for young people. The purpose of the programme is open more affordable housing for urban youth that is accessible and with better conditions. The government also proposes to make available non repayable grants to subsidise the income of the most needy families who cannot cope with these rental expenses.
Letting a bedroom in a private home in Greater Lisbon now costs on average €308 per month – the most expensive in the country – with growth in prices of 14% in 2017. Interest in room rentals, a traditional form of housing for university students and young workers, has quintupled the number of searches carried out over the past year. Due to increased demand, the cost of letting an individual room has risen to an average of €238 per month in Portugal.
Lisbon has experienced the greatest decline in the number of young adults within Portugal in recent years. One factor contributing to the drop is the difficulty in finding affordable housing. In 2012, the median rent in Lisbon was €268, according to INE (“Instituto Nacional de Estadística”). In 2016, the average climbed to €830.
But high rent is only part of the problem. The ageing of the population is at the root of the decrease. In 1991, Lisbon had 138 seniors for every 100 young people (from 0 to 14 years old). By 2016, the number of elderly rose to 182, a proportional increase of 24%, making Lisbon the oldest council in the nation. Provisional population estimates advanced by INE indicate that the number of young people aged between 20 and 34 living in Lisbon went down from 95,830 in 2011 to 67,916 in 2016, a net loss of 29%.