"The rules adopted in the last Council of Ministers are killers of local accommodation and who will announce their death, in a very short period," AHETA said in a statement, calling the Government's idea a "fallacy", further adding that the measures, "with regard to local accommodation, do not solve or contribute to solving the country's housing problem."
For the association, the More Housing program, announced on Thursday, "instead of fostering and strengthening economic activity in order to raise revenues and concentrate them for housing construction at controlled costs, and consequent rental at values bearable by the most disadvantaged", will end up "destroying an activity that has been very well regulated" in the past, putting an end to the so-called "parallel beds".
AHETA recalled that the creation of the local accommodation scheme allowed to end a parallel market of beds that existed in the Algarve, made the State benefit from the taxes levied with the legalisation of this offer, considering that the proposals now submitted call into question all the work and investment done by the owners, many of them with recourse to credit, to convert "parallel beds" into legal tourist beds.
"What will the Government have to say to the people who have put all their finances into this, where many have resorted to loans to develop their activity and now have a very bleak ending? What about the country's lack of credibility in front of thousands of foreigners who have also made their investments here," AHETA said, lamenting that the rules of the game have been "changed in the middle of the championship."
The association has positioned itself in favour of the existence of second homes, tourist real estate and local accommodation "controlled and licensed, with guarantee of quality services and contributing, with its taxes, to the growth of the country", and warned that these measures will "again" lead "thousands of beds to enter the parallel market".
AHETA also criticised the end of the allocation of golden visas, considering that this solution has "brought to the country many millions of euros of investment, and taxes, especially in real estate", which will now be "lost" to other countries that continue to capture this foreign investment.
Therefore, AHETA said it believed that "the measures now approved and disseminated should be reviewed immediately before they enter into force, for the good of the Algarve and the quality of tourism" in Portugal.
"Our country needs to attract permanent investment, serious, legal, with longevity and, to this end, it is crucial to transmit security, stability to the market and investors, everything that the measures now taken do not do," he argued.
In the Council of Ministers held on Thursday and dedicated to housing, the Government decided that emissions of new local housing permits "will be prohibited", with the exception of rural housing in municipalities in the interior of the country, where they can boost the local economy.
In addition, current local accommodation permits "will be subject to reassessment in 2030" and then periodically every five years.
The Government thus intends to incentivise landlords to transfer the properties they have in local housing to housing, ensuring those who do so by the end of 2024 an exemption from taxation of IRS until 2030, as "compensation for the reduction of revenue they will have".
At the same time, the Government intends to create an extraordinary contribution to properties that remain in local housing, the revenue of which will revert to housing policies.
The measures are part of the regime of "strong incentive for housing that are currently dedicated to local housing", explained António Costa.
The five axes of the More Housing Program, which will be under public discussion for a month, are: increasing the supply of properties used for housing purposes, simplifying licensing processes, increasing the number of homes in the rental market, fighting speculation and protecting families.