Government plans to relaunch Minha Casa, Minha Vida with new types of housing

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The government plans to change the Minha Casa, Minha Vida rules so that the housing program will offer new types of housing. The idea is that there are at least three housing designs and that they are built depending on the profile of the city and the needs of the families.

Since its inception, the program has provided a minimum set of rules for the property offered —which should have, for example, at least two bedrooms. In the new design, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s (PT) team wants to create a greater variety of patterns to adapt the enterprise to the area to be served.

One of the ideas is that there are smaller apartments for families of just two people or even just one member. Government members claim that the model cannot be the same in cities of different sizes.

The idea –Lula’s request– for the developments to have balconies can also be analyzed according to the profile of the beneficiaries.

Another variable should be solar water heating in the house. Government members believe that this is not a need for regions in the Northeast, for example, and the resources in these cases could be used for other improvements in housing.

The new version of the program must be submitted by February 15th. Members of the Ministry of Cities and the Civil House say that the models of the projects should only be finalized after the approval of the bases of the new housing program.

President Lula’s assistants want the MP (provisional measure) that will end Casa Verde e Amarela – former president Bolsonaro’s banner in the sector– and recreate Minha Casa, Minha Vida to be lean.

The objective is to put in the text, which will need to be approved by Congress, only the bases of the new format of the program – leaving several points to be defined by acts of the government itself.

According to members of the Cities and Planalto Palace portfolio, the expectation is to reduce the influence of the construction sector lobby in the processing of a priority project for Lula.

The recreation of Minha Casa, Minha Vida will be one of the first measures taken by the president in the social area – even before the reformulation of Bolsa Família.

A wing of the government defends that the program should be called Novo Minha Casa, Minha Vida. But Lula’s interlocutors say that this has not yet been decided and that there is a great possibility of just resuming the brand of the previous version.

The construction sector expects the new version of the program to come with greater sustainability requirements than in its first version.

The theme has been present since the electoral campaign and remained in the official discourse after President Lula took office.

The president of the Cbic (Brazilian Chamber of the Construction Industry), José Carlos Martins, only asks that the decision on the green issue be taken quickly so that the sector has time to prepare projects with the conditions established by the government.

One suggestion by Martins is to use a green project certification that already exists in the construction sector, called Procel Edifica, managed by the government.

Martins has already met twice with the Minister of Cities to present the sector’s vision for the resumption of Minha Casa, Minha Vida. The goal is to reduce bureaucracy and streamline the program.

“[O melhor é o] as soon as possible define what the specification will be, items that will be added in terms of sustainability of the projects, so that, based on this specification, the sector can design, budget, see how much it is worth”, he evaluated.

At MCMV, most projects are presented to the federal government by construction companies and city halls, which identify business opportunities. To calculate whether a venture is viable, it is necessary to know what will be required.

The government seeks to relaunch the program as a way to mitigate the housing deficit in Brazil, which was nearly 5.9 million families in 2019, the most recent data.

The deficit includes homeless people and those who live in precarious housing conditions and is calculated by the João Pinheiro Foundation, linked to the government of Minas Gerais.

The number remained practically stable between 2018 and 2019, but the impression of Evaniza Rodrigues, an activist from the União dos Movimentos de Moradia, is that the situation has worsened.

“There was the impoverishment of the population [no período]. The deficit was already concentrated in the lowest income brackets and our impression is that it got worse”, she says.

Minimum requirements of Minha Casa, Minha Vida (as of 2017):

  • Between 36 and 39 square meters
  • One bedroom for couples
  • A room for two people

Yellow Green House:

  • Kept the minimum requirements of Minha Casa

How it should look:

  • More flexible criteria taking into account regional differences
  • Possibility of smaller units depending on the size of the family
  • Balcony
  • solar water heating

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