João Velozo Housing crisis in Brazil-3.jpg

Housing Crisis in Brasil

Brazil is the 5th largest country in the world, the biggest in Latin America. Home to 200 million people, Brazil has more than 50M living below the poverty line (families that generate less than 5.5 USD/day). The lack of affordable housing created 33 million homeless people (about 5.6 million families). At the same time, the country has more than 7 million empty housing units. In the absence of a regular home, these families have been pushed to build and occupy open spaces in cities. The occupations happen primarily in abandoned buildings or land inside cities. Most of the occupants are unemployed workers or people who live from recycling garbage. They are fleeing high rental prices in the favelas where a shack can cost up to one thousand reais or 263 USD per month. Brazil is facing one of its greatest economic crises in history. With a mass of 13 million unemployed workers, the number of occupations is only growing and has no signs of stopping. The occupations are filled with black and brown women and men. In Brazil, women generally earn much less than men, even though they perform the same functions. At the same time, black or brown workers account for the most significant number of unemployed, earn less, live poorly, and start working much earlier because they have lower levels of schooling. These people were the first struck by the crisis and, even nowadays, are the most impacted by it.
Most vacant homes result from real estate speculation; many old and abandoned buildings are being kept empty while the terrain value rises. These buildings are being occupied even without minimal structural conditions to sustain an occupation. The real state value in many cities keeps growing, and the new buildings keep appearing on the cities horizon’s, even though the construction industry was hit hard with the crisis. This makes Brazil a country with more houses without people than people without a home.