A new housing law, called the Basic Housing Law, was passed on July 5, 2019 in Portugal which gives citizens the right to affordable housing. Due to rising housing prices that have consistently increased and outweigh the increase of household income, Parliament knew they needed a solution. The country has general laws for health, education and social security, but until now, they never had any general laws relating to housing, which they view as a social right. Now that the bill has been passed, the government will have to create national policies before May 2020 that also consider special protective measures for young people, the disabled, the elderly and families with young children.
Throughout the globe, we are witnessing overstretched housing markets and record high prices, sometimes making it abnormally difficult to find available and affordable housing for people relocating. It’s important for companies managing mobility (relocations and assignments) to be aware of how a tight housing market can have a significant impact on the experience of the employee. Providing resources such as professional home search assistance, temporary housing to allow time to find a permanent home, and home finding trips to allow the employee/assignee to tour homes and possibly secure housing before making their move are just some of the ways you can help alleviate stress and increase employee satisfaction.
The passing of the Basic Housing Law is a step in the right direction, and we hope to see other countries take corrective action to ease their housing crises. In the meantime, take note of the various housing markets around the globe and ensure your employees are getting the support that they need.
Under the new law, the Portuguese government becomes responsible for ensuring adequate housing for all citizens as “the guarantor of the right to housing.”