Country Report: Housing Last updated: 21/05/21


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The law provides for the right of refugees and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection to housing under the same conditions of foreign nationals legally residing in Portugal,[1] therefore encompassing public housing.[2]

In practice, the financial assistance provided to asylum seekers admitted to the regular procedure in the framework of the dispersal policy managed by the GTO for renting private housing (see Forms and Levels of Material Reception Conditions) will usually be maintained beyond a final decision in the asylum procedure. This typically means that beneficiaries of international protection will generally retain the private housing they have rented throughout the regular procedure.

According to the experience of CPR, high housing prices in the private market are a challenge frequently faced by beneficiaries of international protection (in particular in cities such as Lisbon).

Access of beneficiaries of international protection to public housing remains extremely limited for reasons that according to CPR’s experience have traditionally been linked to legal constraints under previous rules, limited stock of available public housing, lack of prioritisation of beneficiaries of international protection in public housing policy and heavy bureaucratic requirements.

CPR is not aware of systematic instances of homelessness among beneficiaries of international protection. Nevertheless, Crescer, an association which provides support to vulnerable persons, reported having been approached by a growing number of applicants for and beneficiaries of international protection due to the lack of (adequate) accommodation in 2020.

Within the context of resettlement, hosting entities are responsible for the provision of accommodation. In the case of resettled refugees supported by CPR, the reception program includes an initial period of accommodation in a reception centre – CAR II (3 to 6 months). Before the coronavirus pandemic, the average duration of permanence in CAR II was of 4,5 months. In 2020, constraints linked to access to housing in the private market and restrictions to internal travel have led to a growth of the average period of accommodation in CAR II to 6 months.


[1]           Article 74 Asylum Act.

[2]           Article 5 Public Leasing Ac; Article 5 Regulation 84/2018.

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation