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Social Production of the Habitat: The Experience of a Brazilian NGO

By : Ricardo Correa

1. Introduction
As in the rest of the world, the poor population in Latin America do not have access to habitation through state-public or market policies. They can’t approach financing lines, subsidies, infrastructure for land, technical assistance, etc.
The Social Production of the Habitat is defined as the one that is manufactured by the poor who from the public and market policies, manage to meet, through their own economic and cultural means, their necessities, yet on a limited manner.
Brazil is one example of this reality; from 1995 to 2000, 84 % of the housing produced in the country was self-constructed. This is a fact that indicates that in cities like Rio de Janeiro 50% of the houses are illegal, either under an urban or land perspective.
Public production, in its turn, in addition to the low quantity, is also precarious either in terms of the bad quality of low income housing (poor construction and architectural design quality) or of their insertion in the city; real ghettoes are constructed in total disconnection with the ‘formal’ city because of the absence and/or shabbiness and/or distance of indispensable urban services and equipment.

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