Five Zone A public housing projects on hold

Construction of the five economic housing projects that were to commence this year has been suspended, Secretary for Transport and Public Works Raimundo do Rosário has told the parliament.

The senior official made the announcement during a recent speech. The current round of applications for housing ended yesterday. The suspended projects consist of 5,700 residential units.

At the parliamentary session, Rosário was asked by lawmaker Nick Lei and his other colleagues to reconsider the structure or need for the five-tier housing hierarchy.

The property market has entered tougher times in the post-Covid resumption of normalcy. Not only are real estate agencies calling for the lifting of cooling measures, the Economic Housing round of applications that ended yesterday was not as popular as its predecessors. Analysts and members of the public believe that reductions in the investment value of that housing type is a key cause of the unpopularity.

In response to Lei, Rosário emphasized that housing policies are long-term policies and should not be altered on a whim. Accordingly, there is no timetable for the review of the five-tier hierarchy and the Economic Housing Law. The constant rounds of applications for Economic Housing will not be reviewed because the government is uncertain about how long the type of housing will remain unpopular, Rosário added.

In response to earlier inquiries about the government’s decision to change 411 Economic Housing units to Social Housing units, Rosário said that “it wasn’t a new practice and is completely legal.” He did not rule out the possibility of a repeat of this practice in future. AL

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