My Home, My Life' program to invest more than R$ 71 billion in 2 million homes
13/05/2011 16:42 - Portal Brasil
The Brazilian government is to invest R$ 71.7 billion (about US$ 44.2 billion) in building two million homes in the second phase of the 'My House, My Life' program, by 2014, according to the national Housing Secretary, at the Ministry of Cities, Ines Magalhaes. First, however, the program will deliver 300,000 homes this year, as part of the first phase, which had surpassed one million homes by late 2010.
Of the funds stipulated by Provisional Measure and approved last Tuesday (May 10) by the Senate, R$ 62.2 billion will come from the Federal Budget, said Magalhaes. The remaining R$ 9.5 billion will be financed by Brazil's social welfare program, the Guarantee Fund for Length of Service (FGTS).
Magalhaes says the second phase of the government housing program, which aims to reduce the housing deficit in the poorest strata of society, will be a little different from the first phase. This will include greater protection of women who are the heads of households, who will be able to sign contracts without their husbands' approval.
Asked whether the expansion of rights in cases of homosexual unions would also need changing, Magalhaes said that the concept of family is general. "There is no need for innovation," she said. This is also the view of the Federal Savings Bank (Caixa Econômica Federal), according to which marriage is not a requirement of finance. The only requirements are that people have a joint income and live in the same property.
Magalhaes said that unlike the earlier phase, when there was more flexibility in regard to family income up to a limit of ten minimum salaries, 60% of the housing will now be reserved for families earning up to R$ 1,395 a month. "They are in most need in terms of social inclusion," she said. Hence, work will focus more on the urbanization of shantytowns and informal settlements, considered to be areas of risk, she noted.
The new phase of the 'My House, My Life' program also provides for increased vertical integration of apartment buildings in central urban areas, with consolidated infrastructure, so that the ground floor can be used as a business unit for financial support to fund the buildings' costs, said the secretary. Multi-family housing projects will also be reserved for families with incomes of up to R$ 1,395, she added.