Moving to a new housing pattern? New trends in housing supply and demand in times of changing. The Portuguese case
This article aims to explain the effects of the recent economic and financial crisis on housing conditions and the ability of Portuguese families to access housing. It also intends to discuss how the crisis is reconfiguring the housing patterns, in terms of access to housing and changes in public policies, questioning the predominant mode of access to housing based on homeownership. This article also discusses the role of social housing in the Portuguese housing system and the changes and challenges in this sector coming from the economic and financial constraints of families and the state. This article is structured in three parts. The first is an overview of the Portuguese housing system and social housing in particular, highlighting the conditions and reasons that led to a reduced social housing stock and to the predominance of homeownership. The second part discusses the impact of the crisis on families and the state, trying to demonstrate how the constraints on both are translated into (1) worsening housing conditions, (2) a diversification of groups struggling to access housing in the private market and (3) a reduction of affordable housing, pressing the social housing sector. Finally, the third part is a reflection on the changes that the crisis has had in the orientation of housing policies and their instruments, arguing that the patterns of the Portuguese housing system are changing with emphasis on the need to diversify the housing supply to increasingly diverse groups in housing need.