Around 30 thousand indigenous families that live close to large cities in the Northeast, Center-South, and Southern regions of Brazil either lack a place to live or live in homes in a totally dilapidated state.
To revert this situation, the Ministry of Cities, the National Indian Foundation (Funai), and the National Health Foundation signed a protocol of intentions today, in Brasília, to reduce the Indian housing shortage by at least a third over the next two years.
The houses will contain an average of 60 square meters of floor space and will be adapted to the cultural peculiarities of the various ethnic groups.
Each house will cost approximately US$ 2.500 (7,000 reais). The money will be used to purchase materials and pay for the labor, which should be provided by the Indians themselves and, in some cases, by professionals such as construction foremen.
The Funai is sending teams of engineers and architects to the Indian communities to observe the cultural aspects of each ethnic group and incorporate them in the projects.
In 2005, 3000 houses are expected to be constructed in communities in various Brazilian states.
For the Minister of Cities, Olívio Dutra, the program is a demonstration of the federal government’s respect for the Brazilian indigenous peoples and their culture.
In all, the federal government will spend US$ 9.9 million (27 million reais) on the construction of housing for Indians during the first year of the program.
Translator: David Silberstein
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