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From community development to housing finance: From Mutiroes to Casa Melhor in Fortaleza, Brazil

Cabannes, Y; (1997) From community development to housing finance: From Mutiroes to Casa Melhor in Fortaleza, Brazil. ENVIRON URBAN , 9 (1) 31 - 58.

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Abstract

This paper describes two new approaches to financing and supporting the improvement of housing and living conditions for low-income groups in Fortaleza, capital of one of the poorest Brazilian states. The first is the comunidades programme which primarily supports the development of new homes, settlements and income-generating activities for the lowest-income groups through mutirao, mutual self-help (as the participants collectively build and also manage the building process). This is sometimes known as the mutirao programme. The paper presents a case study of one project within this wider programme, Parque Havai, to illustrate how it works. The second programme described is the casa melhor (meaning ''better house'') which provides loans, subsidies and technical support to households living in squatter settlements or other poor quality settlements to improve, rebuild or expand their homes. Although there are elements of mutual aid, this is primarily support for individual self help. In Section III, the paper explains hour this fund was developed, along with support programmes provided by NGOs and government agencies to help it function. The programme is financed through a combination of savings, loans and subsidies and has achieved high rates of repayment for the loan component. This section also describes its achievements and limitations - and what possibilities exist for scaling-up the support for housing finance of this kind to meet growing demand. The concluding section reflects on what the experience with both these programmes implies for future work in this area.

Type:Article
Title:From community development to housing finance: From Mutiroes to Casa Melhor in Fortaleza, Brazil
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Development Planning Unit

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