Migrants: Finding accommodation and housing in Portugal

Moving to a foreign country can be a challenge, but there are mechanisms to help you find accommodation in Portugal. 

You can find information on:

Temporary Accommodation Centres

The Temporary Accommodation Centres are spaces for people in economic need or who are homeless. This is a social response, which aims to provide shelter for a limited period of time in order to satisfy the basic survival needs of those who seek this support. If you meet these conditions, you can request this social support from Social Security, the Citizen Shops or the Santa Casa da Misericórdia of Lisbon

Find out where you can get information about the Temporary Accommodation Centres

Renting a property in Portugal

If you want to rent a property in Portugal, you must fulfil a set of mandatory requirements, namely having a Tax Identification Number (NIF)  in order to sign the contract and be able to pay the rent as a deposit, in case the future landlord requests it. 

The property search can be done on your own, as there are several portals dedicated to real estate in Portugal, or with recourse to a real estate mediation company, which handles all the bureaucratic processes related to the rental of property. 

Depending on your income, you can apply for public support for housing.

Buying and selling a property in Portugal

As in the case of renting property, the process of selling and/or buying property is subject to several legal obligations, such as signing a preliminary sales agreement - a document that stipulates the rights and duties of the parties involved - and the deed, as well as paying taxes and insurance. It is also necessary to have a Tax Identification Number (NIF), which must be requested from the Tax and Customs Authority

You can also search for properties to buy on your own or through a real estate mediation agent or company. You can also consult an accountant or lawyer

Consult the ePortugal page on buying and selling property in Portugal for European citizens, information that also applies to migrants.

Public support for housing

To deal with situations of housing shortage, there is a set of programmes that support access to decent housing, of which the following should be highlighted:

  • 1º Direito (1st Right) - Programme to Support Access to Housing, with housing solutions for people without minimum housing conditions and without financial capacity.
  • Porta de Entrada [Entrance Door] - Urgent Accommodation Support Programme, which supports the urgent accommodation needs of people temporarily or permanently deprived of the dwelling they live in or who are at imminent risk of becoming so.
  • Affordable Rental Programme - housing with rents below market value.
  • Porta 65 Jovem Programme - financially supports renting to young people (isolated, cohabiting or family households), through a monthly subsidy corresponding to a part of the rent.

It is also possible to apply for social housing, owned by the Institute for Housing and Urban Rehabilitation (IHRU). In order to apply, you should go to the Portal da Habitação (Housing Portal) and fill in the form.

Find out about the conditions for applying for social housing