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Recyclable Cheapens Popular Housing in Brazil

The results of the InovaRural rural housing project, which is backed by the Study and Projects Financial Agency (Finep) and is celebrating its first anniversary, will be disseminated in the form of pamphlets, guidebooks, videotapes, and documentaries, to tranfer the experience to other communities.

The project, adopted by the Finep in December, 2003, with funds amounting to US$ 59,000 (154,000 reais), is aimed at the construction of housing for the low-income rural population, making use of recyclable materials in ways that also generate work and income for the families that are benefitted.

The InovaRural, for example, has a pilot project in the Pirituba Ranch rural settlement, in the municipality of Itapeva, in the state of São Paulo. A collective carpentry shop was set up in which residents produce doors, windows, and furniture for their homes.

According to the coordinator of the project, Ana Maria de Souza, this is a pioneering idea involving scientists from the São Carlos Engineering School of the University of São Paulo (USP), together with other institutions and the 49 families that live in the settlement.

“The researchers are organizing the community’s overall involvement in the decision-making process, in their professional training, and in the production of housing as a strategy to root the rural population,” she explained.

The dwellings, which are built collectively by the community, cost an average of US$ 2.4 thousand (R$ 6.5 thousand). They contain 2 or 3 sleeping quarters. Funding comes from the Federal Savings Bank.

Translation: David Silberstein
Agência Brasil


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