Palaces, convents and ministry will be university residences

A barracks, a palace, a convent, youth hostels, a school and even the facilities of the Ministry of Education of Av. 5 de Outubro in Lisbon will become university residences.

The obligatory site of so many demonstrations over the years, of students and teachers, the headquarters of the Ministry for decades will change its function, according to a government diploma published today in Diário da República and that takes effect on Wednesday.

The objective is to double the current offer of student accommodation by 10 years, to around 15,000 beds, including the construction, rehabilitation and requalification of more than 250 properties in the country.

The decree-law now published provides for three types of accommodation, one of which is the rehabilitation of buildings through the National Fund for the Rehabilitation of Buildings (FNRE). And in the first phase have already identified dozens of real estate in 18 municipalities, which will make available after the works more nearly 4,000 beds.

The law says, however, that “a minority” of real estate may be affected for other purposes, “to ensure the financial viability of the FNRE’s investment.

Between villas and apartments in Bragança, buildings in Mirandela or Portalegre, the list of properties to be integrated in the FNRE and, therefore, transformed into student accommodation, are the Barra da Trafaria in Almada, the former Secondary School D. Luís de Castro in Braga, the former House of the Jesuits in Coimbra, the former palace of the Guerreiro family in Faro, or the former School of Health of the University of Algarve, also in Faro.

The youth hostels of Guarda, Leiria, Portalegre and Vila Real, the former building of the Institute of Meteorology in Lisbon, the convent of Santo Estêvão in Leiria, and the stables of the Laranjeiras Palace are also included in the list. Lisbon.

Also for a first phase of the intervention plan (not integrated in the FNRE) other real estate for construction were identified, from real estate to be built in Aveiro or Lisbon, through the old building of the House in Batalha, by the Monastery of Santa Maria do Mar in Carcavelos , by the old building of the Idanha-a-Nova Agricultural Credit Box, or by building 2 of Ajuda Astronomical Observatory.

Of a long list that appears in annexe to the decree-law are other buildings, from the Convent of Santos-o-Novo to the Palace of the Marquises of Minas, in Lisbon, from a monastery in Odivelas to the Powder Factory of Barcarena.

The intervention plan, according to the Government document, includes the re-qualification of homes, the creation of new ones, the provision of temporary accommodation when necessary and the regular monitoring of installed capacity.

Student housing is created through rehabilitation by the FNRE, through promotion by universities or through the use of accommodation by other entities.

Under the law, universities can rehabilitate, expand, build or rebuild buildings to serve as student housing, and may do so in collaboration with other public or private entities.

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