Lisbon landlords evict local residents in favour of tourism
Residents in the Portuguese cities of Porto and Lisbon are claiming the right to live in their own cities.
They now have more tourists per resident than London and Barcelona.
The boom in visitors has resulted in more and more apartments being rented to tourists, with a corresponding 20 percent rise in rents, forcing some local residents to leave their homes.
“They are taking everything from us,” said Porto resident Paula Magalhães. “Everything! It’s not only from us, but also from Porto, from my kids. What can we do? I don’t know why a tourist who comes for only five days is worth more than me and my children, who keep up Porto traditions”.
Paula used to live in an apartment with her partner and their three children when the landlord asked for a 25 percent increase in the rent. Now they live at her parent’s house, which has only one bedroom and one living room for seven people.
“And what is going to happen if this real estate bubble doesn’t explode? If I can’t pay 600 euros in rent, because I earn 585 euro. how am I supposed to leave my parent’s house, with three children?”
To make things worse, now Paula’s parents are waiting for eviction. To try to stop that happening, Paula joined the assembly of residents of Porto, an association that has been fighting against gentrification.