Habitat for Humanity Brazil
Habitat's work in Brazil
Housing need in Brazil
A recent survey ranked São Paulo as the tenth most expensive city in the world (up eleven places since last year), and Rio de Janeiro as the twelfth (rising seventeen places). New York, North America’s most expensive city is at number 32, making Brazil the most expensive country in the Americas. The figures concerning the housing situation in Brazil are staggering. Brazil has between 6 and 8 million fewer houses than it needs, and the poor are the most impacted by this deficit. People earning a monthly salary of US$1,000 or less account for about 90 percent of the housing deficit, which is expected to remain stable for the next decade.
The greatest needs are in the northeast and southeast areas of the country. In the cities, there is urban overcrowding and housing deterioration. It is estimated that more than 50 million Brazilians currently live in inadequate housing conditions. Most of these families have an income below the minimum wage of roughly US$350/month. According to data from several sources, 26 million people living in urban areas lack access to potable water, 14 million are not served by a trash collection service and 83 million are not connected to sewage systems.
Habitat for Humanity in Brazil
Habitat’s work in Brazil began after an extended period of severe rain in December 1987, which displaced many families in the city of Belo Horizonte, capital of Minas Gerais in the southeastern region of Brazil. With the support of Methodist Communitarian Center of São Gabriel quarter and the approval of a construction project of 100 homes, work officially began in 1992. Habitat for Humanity Brazil has now served 10.934 families, helped build 4.531 homes, improved 1.338 homes and helped 3.577 families access a microcredit.
Habitat Brazil works to build complete homes as well as improve existing ones. In addition to construction services, the organization offers assistance in other areas to ensure the right to the city and to decent housing for all families. These services include community development, credit access, governmental resources, financial education, land ownership and advocacy work.
The following are some of Habitat for Humanity Brazil’s current projects.
Women Building Homes and Rebuilding Lives: This project is a collaborative effort developed by local women’s centers, government and Habitat for Humanity Brazil to ensure better living conditions for 100 women and their families in the municipality of Feira Nova. The women benefiting from this program work long hours in the manioc (cassava) flour mills that are a major employer in the area. The partnership is working to increase access to affordable, reliable and safe housing, as well as to ensure rights among a group that has historically been denied citizenship by social processes of exclusion, invisibility and violence. As the second half of the project begins, the impact that the project is having on 100 women-headed households is evident.
Nossa Prata: The project was born to help homeless families who are in need and fight for their right to a decent home. The families have organized themselves and brought together three movements that focus on fighting for housing and act in the city of Paulista (Pernambuco). The project is funded by the project Minha Casa Minha Vida, operated by Caixa Econômica Federal, and through partnership with Paulista Mayor’s Office, who donated the terrain where the houses will be built.The goal is to build 558 houses. Status: Initial stage of building process.
The Future Begins at Home: The goal of the project is to suppost low-income families in the Bomba do Hemetério community, located in the city of Recife. The families will have access to microcredit loans to enable repairs and improvements in their homes. Goal: 100 houses repaired. Status: 08 houses improved
Mangueira e Mustardinha: The project seeks to empower women and other vulnerable groups to ensure ownership of land and provide them with legal advice, and to support the repair of homes through technical assistance in construction. Goal: 2500 families with legal advice for land regularization and 200 home improvements. Status: 2,106 families aided with legal advice.
Technical assistance for Social Interest Dwelling: The project englobes 25 municipalities from the state of Pernambuco and aids families living in precarious situations through elaborationof projects and guidance for the construction and reform of houses, as well as social work and land regularization. Goal: 5600 families. Status: 2069 families contemplated with building and social projects.
Water for Life: Enlargement of roofs for water catchment as well as building cisterns for families who live in the inner part of Pernambuco state, where it is usually very dry and access to water is scarce. Goal: 400 roofs enlarged and 300 cisterns built. Status: 50 roofs enlarged and 10 cisterns built.
Nova Mata Escura/Calabetão: The Project aims to support families through the elaboration of projects and budgets, guidance towards labor, management of the work being done and holding of workshops with the families. The families contemplated live in inadequate houses in the communities of Nova Mata Escura and Calabetão, in the city of Salvador/BA. Goal: 373 houses repaired. Status: 99 houses repaired.
Abadia de Goiás: the Abadia Project is being built with the participations and involvement of families in the build site and also in the social work actions, as a means of strengthening bond of solidarity and sustainability in the building process. Goal: 49 houses built. Status: 9 houses built
Learn more about Habitat for Humanity in Latin America and the Caribbean.