Date when Habitat started working in the country
Individuals served in FY18
Volunteers hosted in FY18
* 25 individuals served through market development
** Includes Sao Paulo: 400 volunteers
Habitat for Humanity in Brazil
Habitat for Humanity Brazil began its work in 1992 after a flood struck the city of Belo Horizonte, affecting hundreds of families. Since then, Habitat Brazil has developed projects in 11 states. Currently Habitat is present in four states with projects ranging from building, repairing and improving homes, to providing access to water and strong advocacy work.
The housing need in Brazil
Brazil has between 6 and 8 million fewer houses than it needs, and people earning less than US$1,000 per month account for about 90 percent of this de cit. In the cities, there is overcrowding and housing deterioration. It is estimated that more than 50 million Brazilians live in inadequate conditions. According to data from several sources, 26 million people in urban areas lack access to drinking water, 14 million do not have trash collection services and 83 million are not connected to sewage systems.
Rural areas in the northeast region are currently suffering the worst drought in the past 50 years. Adequate access to water is a privilege that over 17 million people do not have. Women and children are forced to walk long distances to fetch water for their homes, often in sources where the water is untreated.
Habitat’s contribution in Brazil
To date, Habitat Brazil has helped build and improve homes, provided water access and helped families secure land tenure. Habitat Brazil through its participation in national platforms and networks such as the National Forum for Urban Reform and the National Cities Council, promotes public policies that give millions of people living in inadequate conditions the opportunity to improve their homes.
Building new houses
Habitat for Humanity Brazil works in partnership with the Brazilian government to build new houses in partnership with vulnerable families. Through the Minha Casa, Minha Vida (My House, My Life) program, Habitat Brazil is currently building 685 houses in two states.
Through microcredit loans and with the support of a technical assistance team, qualified masons and volunteers, mothers and fathers can guarantee a better future for their children and a safe and healthy home where they can study, rest and play.
Access to water
This project aims to improve the quality of life of families who live in extreme poverty and often have to walk for up to two hours to fetch water for their homes. By repairing and enlarging their roofs and building cisterns for water catchment and storage, hundreds of families have access to safe, usable water.
Building impact in the sector is one of Habitat for Humanity’s global objectives. Habitat Brazil is extremely active in this goal, participating in debates and policy discussions for city councils at the national, state and municipal levels. Habitat Brazil represents all NGOs and civil society organizations in the National Cities Council – formed by 71 holders representing the most diverse segments of civil society and public power to help solve the housing de cit and benefit more families living in inadequate houses.
Meet a Habitat family
Sunlight streams through the balcony and lights up Mayara’s face. The 24-year-old is happy that she can take in some fresh air and live in a home that can better accommodate her disabilities. Mayara was born with hydrocephalus, a condition that can cause brain damage and physical problems. She and her mom, Regina, live in a one-bedroom house in Heliopolis. Regina partnered with Habitat Brazil to remodel the home to make it more accessible.
“It made me revive my dream and hope of having a comfortable and pleasant house to live in,” Regina says. “My family was transformed. We are very happy, satis ed and relieved.”
Before, the house had only one bathroom, which is on the first floor. Since the living area is on the second floor and Mayara relies on a wheelchair to get around, Regina had to carry her daughter up and down the stairs to shower.
Now, the second floor also has a bathroom, making things easier for both mom and daughter.
What can you do?
We build strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter. You can help us with those actions:
Join one of the scheduled Global Village trips to Brazil or lead your own. For more information, go to:
To learn more about Habitat’s projects in Brazil, please contact us:
Rua São Gonçalo, 118 –
Recife/PE, CEP: 50070-600
+55 81 3221-3137
Mario Vieira / Executive Director Urban Inovations Office