Implementing projects on housing, sanitation, and infrastructure for communities
Luiz Gustavo Packer Hintz, Master in Urban Management and Development from the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies, The Netherlands, Year of Graduation 2004
My position at the Urban Development Department of Caixa Economica Federal (1) has given me – through the social housing subsidy program – the opportunity to work in closer cooperation with small municipalities, housing corporations, NGOs, community-based organizations, and labor unions, willing to make good use of available funds. In many instances I have seen my activities extending beyond the analysis of projects to the provision of comprehensive consulting services to civil society organizations with no past experience in land development and construction.
Though having also participated intensively in other land and housing development projects, I have become particularly inspired by Onde Moras’ grass-roots nature in addressing the housing needs of the periphery population living in shanty homes and slums.
It has not been uncommon for me to devise blueprints and budgets together with local communities and to provide hands-on guidance in every phase of their projects: from designing and preparation of documents for subsidy application to the supervision of construction works. It has been remarkable meanwhile to witness so far the power the social housing subsidy program has demonstrated in stimulating capacity development in even the poorest of communities.
In 2006 alone Onde Moras managed to build 160 housing units in its home city of Londrina (in the southern state of Parana, Brazil) thanks to social housing subsidies and the support of the Urban Development Department of Caixa Economica Federal.
The good outcomes of the social housing subsidy policy throughout the nation have prompted Brazilian central government to announce its raise of fund commitments to the program from US$ 580 million in 2006 to US$ 3.25 billion in 2007. The favorable environment now allows Onde Moras to realistically plan the future expansion of its operations to neighboring towns and the building of 500 housing units in 2007. It is also noteworthy to observe that the success of the Brazilian social housing subsidy program reflects a myriad of aggregate individual efforts coming from all involved parties and set into motion by a seemingly thrift initial financial stimulus.
(1) Caixa Economica Federal is a public enterprise entirely owned by the Brazilian central government. It provides the usual set of banking services such as accounts, credit cards and loans to individual customers. It also stands as the main implementer of Brazil’s central government policies on housing, sanitation, and urban infra-structure.
More... please visit JJ/WBGSP Newsletter No. 14