Brazil. Support to build houses for families affected by COVID-19 pandemic!
Originally published by Benfeitoria.
In 2019, inhabitants of the Solano Trindade squat – located in Duque de Caxias, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and organized by the National Movement for Housing Struggle (MNLM) – with technical assistance from research groups of Federal University of Rio de Janeiro began the renovation works on one of the existing buildings (abandoned for over 20 years). These renovation aimed at building 12 new houses for families living in precarious conditions in the region.
The project foresaw sustainable construction techniques, such as the ecological bricks (BTC) and a sanitation system based on Evapotranspiration Basins, which promote not only other ways of thinking about the relationship between social housing and the environment, but also provide a training and education process for dwellers, students and technicians involved.
This construction was possible from the budget of a Parliamentary Amendment (by federal deputy Chico Alencar, approved in 2017 for the project: “Education and the City: The collective construction of a popular neighborhood” to be implemented by UFRJ through the José Bonifácio University Foundation) and the objective was that they could be completed in 2020.
With this resource, we carry out sewage installations, sewage treatment systems that include the evapotranspiration basins and banana circle, the recovery of the roof slab, the main electrical and hydraulic installations and the purchase of press and production of 6 thousand blocks of BTC (ecological brick).
With the COVID-19 Pandemic, several factors made it impossible to complete the works. To protect themselves from the pandemic, the residents decided not to receive outsiders in the occupation and, therefore, the works had to be entirely carried out by them, through online technical advice with the partners involved. In-person university extension activities were also suspended. As a result, the labor involved was reduced and construction time increased a lot, also generating an increase in the expected initial costs. In addition, during the pandemic there was a huge price increase in construction materials, reaching 50% in some cases. As a result, the budget initially estimated was not enough to carry out the entire construction.
Right now, residents are struggling to complete at least the structural part of the renovation so that families can move into new housing as quickly as possible. In the context of the pandemic, it has become even more urgent, since in the occupation they will have a greater chance of achieving social distancing, isolation and adequate hygiene, leaving the high density and extreme precariousness of most of houses of the poor Brazilian.
In addition, the end of emergency aid from the federal government as of 01/01/2021 has placed Solano’s families in an even more critical situation. Most residents have been surviving in the last months of this emergency aid, as they have lost their jobs because of the pandemic. And in this new reality, many residents will need to look for work in the city, increasing the risks of contracting and transmitting Covid-19.
This campaign aims, therefore, to obtain funds for the purchase of materials for the completion of the works to renovate the existing building, generating 12 new dignified houses for families in precarious situations. In addition, with the resources it will be possible to assure an allowance of at least 3 months for the residents who work in the construction, ensuring its execution within an acceptable period and preventing these residents from having to return to the job market in search of sustenance during the pandemic.
For that, we count on your support! Any contribution is welcome. We count on your direct and indirect participation. Support the project of the National Movement for the Struggle for Housing and learn about our achievements that have been going through 6 years of resistance with the Occupation Solano Trindade in Caxias, Rio de Janeiro. And also the long history of MNLM and its more than 20 years acting as a social housing movement, struggling for better living conditions for the Brazilian population!
Did you like the project and want to collaborate in another way? Get in touch with us via email or through our pages:
campanhasolanotrindademnlm [at] gmail [dot] com