Rehousing Unfinished: State Intervention in Informal Areas in Portugal (1993-2018) and new Challenges
Second UrbanHIST Conference:
This presentation investigates the PER (Programa Especial de Realojamento, Special Rehousing Program), a program of slum clearance and rehousing in the metropolitan areas of Lisbon and Porto, implemented between 1993 and 2018. The PER was launched to address the problem of shanty towns and other run-down built environments that were widespread in the two metropolitan areas in the early 1990s and were a common housing solution for the poorest immigrants. The program surveyed the households living in these areas, rehoused them in council housing estates, while the slums were razed. However, despite its long course the program was not able to solve all cases, with some of these settlements still persisting. Drawing on empirical data gathered in the context of interdisciplinary research project ‘exPERts – Making sense of planning expertise’ (www. expertsproject.org), we show how the Portuguese State acted throughout the program. We argue that the program’s design resulted, at least in part, in the persistence of informal settlements, as well as the creation of new types. These Part II Interpreting 20th 2nd urbanHIST Conference Century European Urbanism 98 Abstracts 99 include the growing trend of illegal occupations of council housing dwellings by people who don’t have housing alternatives due to dynamics of touristification and gentrification that Lisbon is currently experiencing, and which is displacing incumbent populations from the city centre. To try to tackle some of these consequences in the housing market, the PER was replaced in 2018 by a ‘New Generation of Housing Policies’ (NGPH), so that this paper also interrogates the latter’s capacity to reverse the situation.