The Special Rehousing Program promised to end the neighborhoods of shacks, relocating those who lived there in decent housing. The promise is still unfulfilled. What is made of these families? Where do those who have been removed from the neighborhoods live?
According to Census data, there were 20,460 tents in the country in 1991. The vast majority were located in the Greater Lisbon region (12,212), Greater Porto (1,311) and the Setúbal Peninsula (1,101), and the rest were spread across the country. parents. The precarious housing was raised to a national problem and the government of that time put in place a program that promised to solve it: “never have such great incentives been prepared for the municipalities to face, with the collaboration of the government, the problem of tents”, said the then Prime Minister Cavaco Silva. And he stressed that "programs like this are not solved with speeches or easy words". So it was: in 1993, the Special Rehousing Program (PER) was created, which aimed to eradicate all the barracks in the metropolitan areas of Lisbon and Porto.
The plan was ambitious. Today, more than 25 years after its presentation, it remains unfulfilled . Of the 48,416 flagged families, 11,126 remained unhoused, which means that only 72% of the program was executed. With constant delays in implementation, families and neighborhoods have grown, which has created more problems. According to data from the National Survey of Housing Rehousing Needs of February 2018, only 20 of the 27 municipalities completed the program. Neighborhoods like 6 de Maio, in Amadora, continue to fight for decent housing alternatives.
The same National Survey identified 25,762 cases of households living in situations of precarious housing in need of rehousing (several activists and researchers say that the reality is much more serious than the figure reveals). For this, the government created the 1º Direito program, with the objective of solving the problem of the country's housing shortage. In July, Prime Minister António Costa assured: “When, six years from now, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of April 25, we can say that we have eliminated all situations of housing shortages and, 50 years after April, we guarantee all Portuguese the right to adequate housing ”. In other words, more than a quarter of a century after the presentation of PER, by Cavaco Silva, it is now António Costa who promises to solve the problem.
What happened to the relocated families? Where did they go to live? What kind of houses were they offered? What conditions do the neighborhoods have where the municipalities have referred them? What families are yet to be resettled? Who lives today on the land where the barraca neighborhoods existed? Who owns the land and who won at the expense of removing these people?
In this series Fumaça, we will see how the processes of demolition, resettlement and construction of neighborhoods that belonged to PER and the Portuguese State went on, since 1993.