In a country with a chronic housing shortage, it is ironic that Portugal has preserved and restored one of Europe's finest collections of historic castles and palaces. For decades, well before the Revolution of 25 April 1974, Portugal has endured a shortage of decent, affordable housing, whether rented or purchased, as well as the growth of sprawling urban shantytowns outside Lisbon, Oporto, and smaller towns such as Estoril. Known as bairros da lata, literally, "neighborhoods or boroughs of tin," these poorly constructed dwellings lack electricity, water, or sewage systems. The flimsy buildings are made of any kind of building materials, including sheets of galvanized tin that serve as roofs, walls, and doors. As of the early 1980s, it was estimated that there were at least 700,000 illegally constructed buildings in Portugal, some 200,000 of which were in the greater Lisbon area, an example of the worst kind of urban sprawl. Many of these structures were built on unused private lands or on public lands.
   Even after Portugal's economy began to benefit from membership in the European Economic Community (EEC; later the European Union), a significant portion of housing remained substandard, whether in rural or urban areas. By the early 1990s, electrification in rural areas was still not complete, and running water and sewage systems were lacking. As of the early 21st century, improvement in housing has occurred, but with population growth and the arrival of migrants from Europe, Brazil, and former colonies in Africa, the basic components of a housing crisis persist: shortage of decent rental or purchased housings; persistent urban shantytowns, which in some areas have expanded; and substandard living conditions.
   A majority of the Portuguese people (60 percent; and in Lisbon and Oporto, 80 percent) rent their housing. Improving or expanding such rental housing has been challenging in part because of rigid recent control laws that, between 1948 and 1985, tended to discourage either the maintenance and improvement or the construction of apartments. In suburbs outside Lisbon, large apartment houses were built after 1980 for the more prosperous new urbanites, but, as in the past, the supply of good, affordable housing lagged behind demand. Many Portuguese governments confronted and engaged the housing problem, and some excellent reforms were instituted. The contemporary housing crisis nevertheless persists and, after 2007, was complicated by the worldwide economic crisis.

Historical dictionary of Portugal 3rd ed.. . 2014.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • housing — hous‧ing [ˈhaʊzɪŋ] noun 1. [uncountable] PROPERTY the houses or conditions that people live in: • the link between poor housing and health • The smartest new housing developments in Malaysia often come with golf courses attached. • Falling prices …   Financial and business terms

  • housing —    Housing in Britain has increasingly been dominated by one type, the owner occupied, single family dwelling in a suburb, in marked contrast to practice elsewhere in Europe. It is not however the only form of British housing, and emphasizing it… …   Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture

  • housing —    Housing in Spain runs the entire gamut of housing types, from the rudimentary shacks of the shanty towns to opulent detached villas located on the outskirts of towns, or in prestigious suburbs like the nineteenth century Salamanca district of… …   Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture

  • housing — housing1 [hou′ziŋ] n. [ME husing] 1. the act of providing shelter or lodging 2. shelter or lodging; accommodation in houses, apartments, etc.: often used attributively [the housing problem] 3. houses collectively 4. a shelter; covering 5 …   English World dictionary

  • Housing — can be:* To do with dwellings and houses ** A shortened version of the United States Federal Housing Administration * An enclosure containing some equipment or mechanism …   Wikipedia

  • Housing — bezeichnet: Serverhousing, die Unterbringung und Netzanbindung eines Servers in einem Rechenzentrum Housing (MMORPG), Zonen in einem Computerspiel, in denen Spieler oder Gilden Häuser bauen oder beziehen können Diese Seite ist eine… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Housing — Hous ing, n. [From {House}. In some of its senses this word has been confused with the following word.] 1. The act of putting or receiving under shelter; the state of dwelling in a habitation. [1913 Webster] 2. That which shelters or covers;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Housing — Hous ing, n. [From {Houss}.] 1. A cover or cloth for a horse s saddle, as an ornamental or military appendage; a saddlecloth; a horse cloth; in plural, trappings. [1913 Webster] 2. An appendage to the hames or collar of a harness. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • housing — index development (building), habitation (dwelling place), lodging, residence Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • Housing —   [dt. »(Bereitstellen einer) Behausung«], Webspace …   Universal-Lexikon

  • housing — [n] place of accommodation construction, digs*, dwelling, habitation, home, house, lodgment, quarter, quarterage, residence, roof, shelter, sheltering, stopping place; concepts 388,516 …   New thesaurus

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.