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Narrativa / Foto Evidence, 2024. English Edition of 200 copies, signed and numbered. Sealed box with four volumes: Book (70 b/w illustrations), Notebook (22 b/w illustrations), Leaflet (7 b/w illustrations), Journal. 170 x 220mm. Photographs by Mário Cruz. Design by Alex Paganelli.

Everyone has the right for themselves and their family to have an adequately sized dwelling that provides hygienic and comfortable conditions and preserves personal and family privacy. — Constitution of the Portuguese Republic - CRP - Article 65

ROOF portrays the lives of those who are left out of the statistics and those who are experiencing the hidden side of the housing crisis in Lisbon, Europe's number one tourist destination. The people portrayed in this work often have to choose between putting food on the table or having money to pay rent.

In 2024, Lisbon was named the most expensive city in Europe to rent a home by the International Housing Anywhere Index, based on an analysis of 64,000 properties across 23 European cities. Meanwhile, the Portuguese capital is considered the “Best Urban Destination in Europe” at the World Travel Awards 2023. Property speculation coupled with low wages make renting and buying a home suffocating for the majority of lower and middle class Portuguese people.

Developed over the course of a decade (2013-2014, 2019-2020 and 2023), ROOF has materialized in a hard-to-digest book about the housing crisis that is overwhelming Portugal, in the year that marks the 50th anniversary of the 25 April Revolution, which established democracy and enshrined the right to housing in the Constitution.

The city now hides the faces of those who live in inhumane conditions and those who fight lonely battles for access to housing. These people survive on the scraps of what others reject and occupy abandoned buildings, boarded-up factories, vacant schools or rusty shipping containers in an effort to transform them into something resembling a home.

ROOF was published by The New York Times and distinguished by Magnum Photos.


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