Lagos wants to build «100 to 150» houses to tackle housing problems

Chamber plans to invest large millions of euros in social housing, controlled-cost houses and affordable leases

The Câmara de Lagos wants to build «100 to 150 municipal dwellings» of social housing at controlled costs, in the next six years, to face the difficulties that citizens from different social strata face in finding housing.

O Sul Informação he spoke with Hugo Pereira, the newly installed mayor of Lagos, who assured that his top priority in the two years left to finish his term and in the four years to come, should he be elected, will be, «clearly, the dwelling'.

"Here in Lagos and in other major centers in the Algarve, local authorities have to play a very active role and we are preparing a package to move forward with the creation of a large number of municipal housing," he revealed.

«In a program that we have already approved, between 100 and 150 municipal dwellings are projected, so that houses can be injected into the market at controlled costs, so that they can be bought, houses with controlled rents, so that they can be rented to citizens at fair prices, and housing social”, announced Hugo Pereira.

The first houses should start being built in 2020.

“At this moment, we have practically ready to go to the competition two projects in many other areas, namely Sargaçal and Bensafrim. There are between 15 and 17 fires and the pieces are almost all closed. Altogether, they will cost around 2 million euros», said the mayor lacobrigense.

"We want to open a tender by the end of 2019, early next year, to be able to adjudicate and start construction in 2020. It will be a work for a year or so and, if all goes well, we can have these ready in 2021", the year in which the current term ends, he said.



But "the big infrastructure cake" will be created on land that the City Council negotiated with a housing cooperative, "which is located in Lagos, next to the Júlio Dantas Secondary School [CHESGAL Cooperative, in the parish of São Gonçalo]", and whose deed of acquisition was 'signed about two weeks ago'.

“We are reviewing the projects and I believe that during the first half of next year we may have them closed. From here, we will be able to set up the calendar, in order to be able to launch tenders, because the construction will have to be phased. We are talking about 100 apartments, we can go up to 12 or 14 million in investment. It will have to be divided into two or three blocks at a time».

Here, as in the two plots on which the works will advance next year, the idea is to have “a little of everything: houses at controlled costs, social housing and renting. We are doing an x-ray of the needs and typology of the aggregates, in order to be able to close the architectural project and be able to adapt one thing and another».

The Câmara de Lagos is also eyeing “two or three plots of land, to be sold at controlled costs. In this case, it will be the easiest, as it will only be necessary to urbanize, make the lots and deliver. We also wanted to have some available by the end of this mandate».

This bet, which will cost the municipality's coffers millions of euros, comes at a time when the difficulties in finding a house, for a good fringe of the population, are increasing. And this is no longer a problem for the most disadvantaged classes, the middle class also finds it difficult to find housing.

“We are no longer just talking about the most disadvantaged population. There is a fringe of the population here that is too “rich” to have access to social housing, but too “poor” to be able to rent houses at current prices», framed Hugo Pereira, in an interview with Sul Informação.



This is a problem that cuts across cities with more tourism or universities. “There is also the market for second homes, for the Nordics, the French and the new market for people who come from Brazil and have purchasing power, which ends up inflating the value of houses”.

This means that, in addition to public solutions, the municipality is also working in partnership with the private sector.

“We are working with a private developer, so that we can have land to build houses, not at controlled costs, but at a cheaper price. The idea is to develop an urbanization with 400 lots, for self-construction, at prices more than the traditional market, said to be more normal», in Chinicato.

The land in question “were from an urbanization that was unfinished and which has been inactive for years. It was possible between the City Council and the promoter to make that urbanization viable».

Of the many projects, it will not be possible to complete all of them in this term, namely the one hundred fires in Lagos, «but we want to have everything as advanced as possible and some work underway» by 2021, concluded Hugo Pereira.