6 Million Vacant Houses Might Help Brazil Reduce Housing Deficit

Data from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) indicate that 34.2% of Brazil’s municipalities do not have public supplies of drinking water, and only 30% of the country’s population is financially capable of participating in the private real estate market.

To deal with this situation, the federal government’s goal in 2005 is to apply 60% of the funds allocated to housing in the form of subsidies to families that earn up to 5 minimum wages (US$ 495). They account for 92% of the country’s housing deficit, which amounts to 7.2 million residences.


According to the executive secretary of the Ministry of Cities, Ermí­nia Maricato, the federal government is attempting to assist more low-income families.


She is taking part in the 3rd International Symposium on Urban Research, which runs through tomorrow, in Brasí­lia. The Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA) and the World Bank are sponsoring the event.


According to Maricato, the number of vacant housing units in Brazil exceeds six million, according to data from the IBGE.


They number 500 thousand in the city of São Paulo alone. In her opinion, vacant housing units in big metropolises could help reduce the country’s housing deficit.


“The number of vacant residences in the metropolises is painfully evident. Brazil’s four biggest metropolises possess more than 10% of the vacant units, which are mostly concentrated in the old urban centers.


“They are in completely urbanized neighborhoods, which offer a very high quality of life from the standpoint of infrastructure, equipment, and services, but contain many units that remain deteriorated and shut,” she said.


Translation: David Silberstein


Agência Brasil

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