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Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure PT-2023-12/3183 Updated – measures in Portugal

Temporary interest rate subsidy for housing loans

Bonificação temporária de juros em contratos de crédito à habitação

Country Portugal , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 23 March 2023 – 31 December 2024
Context War in Ukraine
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Measures to prevent social hardship
– Keeping or obtaining a safe home
Author Heloísa Perista (CESIS)
Measure added 01 June 2023 (updated 25 April 2024)

Background information

In response to the high inflation caused by the war in Ukraine, the Portuguese government approved a set of measures that address the economic impacts of the war on incomes and access to housing.

This measure is part of a wider package of measures called More Housing (Mais Habitação). See related measure Financial support for the cost of rent .

Decree-law 23-B/2023 establishes a temporary financial support mechanism for housing costs. Financial resources will be provided interest bonuses. The support mitigates the effects of inflation and rising interest rates on housing credit, increasing household disposable income and contributing to the achievement of the national plan to guarantee decent housing for all.

Content of measure

Interest bonus is defined as support for the payment of the provision of a credit agreement for own and permanent housing.

The amount of this interest bonus corresponds to either 75% or 50%, depending on the income bracket, of the difference between the present value of the indexer and the value of the indexer at the start of the loan, plus three percentage points with a minimum of three percentage points.

In the case of an effort rate of 50% or more, the bonus covers the difference between the present value of the indexer and the threshold of three percentage points.

The maximum amount of financial support provided is €720,65 per year. Requests for funding should be made by the beneficiary to the financial institution.

In order to be eligible for financial support, the applicant must:

  • Be a taxed resident in Portugal
  • Have an annual income up to the ceiling of the sixth tier of the IRS (up to € 38 632,00)
  • Have an effort rate equal to or greater than 35% of the annual income
  • Ensure that contracts are concluded by 15 March 2023.

This measure also covers beneficiaries of the following social benefits:

  • Old age, survivor, disability or social pensions
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Parental benefits
  • Benefits for sickness and occupational illness, for a period of not less than one month
  • Social insertion income
  • Social benefit for inclusion
  • Solidarity supplement for the elderly
  • Main informal carer support allowance

In addition to support, credit institutions are required to allow consumers to choose between variable, fixed or mixed interest rates.

Specific conditions of interest subsidy include:

  • The initial claim amount equal to or less than € 250,000
  • Contracts with a variable interest rate or mixed interest rate but which are going through the variable interest rate period
  • A credit agreement index of more than 3%
  • No arrears
  • Financial assets such as bank deposits, savings certificates, shares, units in investment funds, less than 62 times the social support index (up to €29,786.66)

The first payment of any of the support shall include the amounts due from 1 January 2023.

The total amount of the extraordinary and temporary support for families for rent support and interest bonus is €460 million.


The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

12 October 2023

The conditions of the interest bonus provided for in Decree-Law 20-B/2023 of 22 March were adjusted by Decree-law 91/2023 of 11 October, in order to broaden its scope and simplify its requirements.

Thus, a variation of three percentage points in the reference index from its value on the date the contract was signed is no longer required, and it is now sufficient for the value of the index used to calculate the current installment to be greater than three percent.

In addition, the bonus awarded is increased. The maximum annual amount defined for support is now €800 per credit agreement. The bonus will be 100 per cent of the amount calculated when the borrower has an effort rate of 50 per cent or more, and 75 per cent of the amount calculated when the borrower has an effort rate of 35 per cent or more and less than 50 per cent, regardless of the personal income tax bracket they fall into, as long as it is up to the sixth bracket.

The temporary suspension of the early repayment fee is also extended until 31 December 2024 for variable rate mortgage contracts or those which, having been contracted at a mixed interest rate, are in a variable rate period.

Finally, the bonus will have a minimum monthly amount of 10 euros per credit agreement.

Use of measure

No information is available on use of measure.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Does not apply to businesses People on low incomes

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Company / Companies
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Consulted Consulted
Form Consultation through tripartite or bipartite social dialogue bodies Consultation through tripartite or bipartite social dialogue bodies

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Social partners jointly
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level


The package More Housing (Mais Habitação) was presented to the Economic and Social Council (Conselho Económico e Social) by the Minister for Housing.

The package was further discussed at the Permanent Committee for Social Dialogue.

Views and reactions

Several social partners expressed their views and criticisms on the More Housing package.

The General Confederation of Portuguese Workers (CGTP-IN) said that the measure bypasses structural issues and is not the answer that the moment demands. More construction and rehabilitation of public housing at affordable prices is urgent and necessary. They said that there needs to be a policy that guarantees the right to housing in the Constitution and that measures that restore and valorise wages and pensions are urgently needed, according to CGTP-IN.

The General Workers Union (UGT) expresses its hope that the government moves forward with new and strong measures that do not ignore the fact that many Portuguese families have growing expenses with loans for the acquisition of permanent home ownership.

The new president of the Confederation of Portuguese Business (CIP) speaks of "delirium of government legislation", criticising the More Housing package. He stated that the "state bubble" limits the action of companies.

The real estate associations / Confederation of Commerce and Services of Portugal (CCP), expressed their objection to the programme, and demand that the housing problem in Portugal is treated seriously. They wanted more stakeholder involvement in the creation of the measure. One of the main problems is the lack of confidence that is being created among investors, and many of the most controversial measures concern the rental market.



Eurofound (2023), Temporary interest rate subsidy for housing loans, measure PT-2023-12/3183 (measures in Portugal), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.