What happened in the Talude neighborhood?
The association Habita denounced today in a statement released around 11:00 am that seven families were going to be evicted in the neighborhood of Talude, Catujal, because the Municipality of Loures was going to demolish their houses.
According to the association, the municipality had not presented “any adequate housing alternative” and would send “several families with children to the streets”.
According to Habita, in question were five households, “with women heads of household who take care of their children alone”, including in the group “a sick pregnant woman” who is waiting for a vacancy for a heart operation, in addition to “a gentleman elderly and very sick, as well as five minors and two newborns”.
“The majority are unemployed people looking for a job. But there are also formally employed women whose income is not enough to access housing”, says the association’s note.
How was this news received?
According to Habita, several organizations were present at the site to oppose “the barbarism of the system that only defends property and profit and throws people into increasingly unsustainable situations of poverty and onto the streets”.
“This is the country that once again throws people into situations where they have no option but to build tents”, can be read in the note, which adds that the families of the Talude neighborhood, “like all people , have access to adequate housing, they are not responsible for living in a tent, but the policies that encourage the inaccessibility of housing”.
“While the government entertains us with the chaotic and haphazard launch of housing measures that fail miserably by not addressing the fundamental problems and causes of the housing crisis, nor creating immediate measures to staunch the crisis, evictions and the housing emergency continue to make itself felt, and people are thrown into the streets by the State itself”, denounced Habita.
Have the houses been demolished?
In the first phase, no: the families “put themselves in front of the machines and did not let them advance”. Soon after, the Câmara de Loures guaranteed that the demolitions of illegal constructions would take place and that the families targeted – eight, according to the municipality – have their cases analyzed by Social Security for an emergency shelter.
At around 2:25 pm, one of the illegal tents had already been demolished, Maria João Costa, from the Habita association, told the Lusa agency.
At that time, it was said that “the destruction of the second tent” was underway and that the people’s belongings were placed “in the rain” by the chamber’s employees, while the machines advanced on the “20 square meters where people had all their life”.
At that time, there was a reinforcement of the authorities, with the arrival of “two battalions of riot police”.
After all, what led to these demolitions?
“The Municipality of Loures is carrying out the demolition of eight illegal constructions in the town of Catujal, eight families that have been properly analyzed and referred to the Social Security services, eight families that have been living in that place for months and that built those tents ”, began by explaining to Lusa the vice-president of the municipality, Sónia Paixão.
According to the person in charge, the action is part of the housing policy that the municipal executive is carrying out “of great inspection in the territory in order to not allow the construction of new houses of this nature”.
Sónia Paixão said that the cases were “duly reported more than a week ago and existing support mechanisms were provided”, under the responsibility of Social Security, which is responsible for providing emergency shelter, according to the official.
Sónia Paixão also added that “out of the eight, there are two cases that are being analyzed cumulatively by the council services because they eventually meet requirements in light of the housing regulation”, although they can now be accommodated in an emergency shelter.
Where do displaced people go?
There are still no big answers. According to the head of Habita, during the morning Social Security technicians went to the place to question people if they agreed to go to a temporary shelter.
“I overheard one of those conversations and, when the person asked where it would be, the technician replied that he didn’t know yet, it would depend on the vacancies”, he said, criticizing the fact that “with the eviction scheduled for today, Social Security, still he doesn’t know where he’s going to house people”.