Abandoned homes and properties left “unjustifiably vacant” could temporarily pass into the hands of the State.

This is the basis of proposals coming under discussion in parliament today in preparation for the country’s first Housing Law.

Ruling PS Socialists and left-wingers Bloco de Esquerda and PCP communists have all come up with ideas to change the miserable status quo: a country where reasonable rents are in short supply while “hundreds of thousands of buildings” remain empty.