Brazil Lacks 6.5 Million Houses

Brazil’s Minister of Cities, OlÀ­vio Dutra, affirmed that Brazil will have to spend US$ 6.9 billion (20 billion reais) annually over the next two decades to eliminate the country’s housing shortage. According to Dutra, the housing shortage in Brazil exceeds 6.5 million units.

The Minister was in Porto Alegre to inaugurate another PAR (Programa de Arrendamento Residencial – Residential Lease Program)  housing complex.


Dutra announced that 478 thousand new housing units will be handed over this year and that the government expects to invest US$ 4.5 billion (13 billion reais).


Over 8 thousand people whose family income is less than six minimum wages signed up for the PAR selection process.


The monthly lease paid by the future occupants amounts to US$ 85.30 (245 reais), plus an administration fee. At the end of 15 years, the family receives the deed to the residence.


The PAR is a residential lease plan for families that earn between three and six minimum wages and do not own their own homes.


The aim is the construction of homes or the purchase of homes that are under construction or in need of refurbishment.


Shortage


Housing shortages are greatest among workers who earn up to five minimum wages (1,300 reais, equivalent to US$ 413). 93% of the deficit is concentrated in this group.


Workers who earn up to 3 minimum wages (780 rais, equivalent to US$ 247) represent 83% of the total.


The federal government’s Mass Housing Program made US$ 1.48 billion  available last year for the purchase of new and used homes, through lines of real estate credit offered by the Federal Savings Bank and the Bank of Brazil.


In basic sanitation the government invested the equivalent of US$ 540 million (1.7 billion reais) in 2003.


Brazil’s Minister of Planning, Guido Mantega, calculates that 320 thousand houses were turned over to the low income population in 2003 and informed that 580 thousand new units will be delivered by the end of the year.


Favelas


All Brazilian municipalities with over 500 thousand residents have shanty-towns, slums, or illegal land divisions, reflexes of the migratory movement to large centers.


From 1999 to 2000, the number of registered domiciles in shanty-towns increased from 900 thousand to over 2 million, indicative of governmental interest in regularizing this type of habitation.


There are 16,433 shanty-towns registered throughout the country, and only Manaus and São Luiz do Maranhão have no record of this type of residence.


The data come from the Survey of Basic Municipal Information (MUNIC) 2001, released at the end of last year by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE).


Nearly 80% of the municipalities that make up metropolitan regions informed the IBGE that they possess shantytowns. In Rio de Janeiro, Seropédica was the only municipality that said it has no favelas.


In São Paulo, eight of the 39 municipalities in the metropolitan region declared they have no habitations of this type.


Agência Brasil
Translator: David Silberstein

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