Lisbon City Council approves plan for housing co-ops on municipal land

The council has found room for 500 homes, it has been reported

Plans to develop housing co-ops on muncipal land in the Portuguese capital Lisbon have been passed by city councillors.

According press agency LUSA the scheme will see the non-profit construction of co-op homes, with co-ops getting the right to use the land for 90 years.

The project is aimed at people who don’t already own homes in the city, offering them a place to live in return for construction costs.

The plans were put forward by the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and CDS – People’s Party (CDS-PP) alliance, which runs the city.

PSD councillor for housing, Filipa Roseta, said the council has found room for 500 homes, with five projects in the pipeline – for 18 homes in Lumiar, 12 in Benfica, 15 in Arroios, 21 in São Vicente and 23 in Santa Clara.

Under the proposal, co-operatives can apply for tender and, if there is more than one applicant, there will be a lottery, she added.

Councillors from other parties are reported to be looking for safeguards, with Citizens for Lisbon calling for the co-op sector involvement and measures to keep the properties off the speculative market. And the Left Bloc wants companies and property funds excluded from the co-ops, with membership restricted to citizens only.

Ppposition parties also want the rent to be in line with local Right to Housing Regulations.