The President of Portugal Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa has vetoed the Golden visa housing bill on Aug 20, and has sent back without promulgation to parliament for further amendments saying “unconstitutional”. The Government will make further amendments to the bill within one month.

The Mais Habitação legislative package, underwent many changes compared to the initial draft, was approved by Parliament on July 19, 2023. The bill also has provisions to end all real estate investments tied to the Golden visa program. The President said in the statement, that the presentation of the Mais Habitação Program ended up polarizing the debate around two central themes – forced renting and local housing and the effects were immediate.

The President has outlined the following critical risks with the housing bill.

  • For European investment funds, state will not assume direct responsibility in the construction of housing.
  • Forced leasing becomes so limited and time-consuming that it appears as a merely symbolic emblem, with a political cost greater than the tangible social benefit.
  • The bill makes it difficult to recover any confidence lost on the part of private investment
  • The complexity of the local accommodation regime makes it doubtful that it will quickly achieve the intended effects.
  • The housing supply could not come effectively and quickly.
  • No new measures in sight for families burdened with high interest rates.
  • Societies, vacant public buildings, or private buildings acquired or contracted for affordable rent, imply a slow bureaucracy.

The President has decided to return Decree No. 81/XV with several criticism’s, which approves measures in the field of housing, for making several legislative changes. The official full statement on the is published on the President’s website.

As a result, property investors have until October to take advantage of the reduced Golden Visa program at €280k in low density regions.