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Library Brazil - Progressive Low-Income Housing : Alternatives for the Poor

Brazil - Progressive Low-Income Housing : Alternatives for the Poor

Brazil - Progressive Low-Income Housing : Alternatives for the Poor

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Date of publication
August 2013
Resource Language
ISBN / Resource ID

This report aims to analyze key aspects
of the low-income housing sector in Brazil, and to provide
an analytical framework for reviewing alternatives to
addressing the lack of adequate formal housing and urban
services for the poor. It addresses four fundamental
questions for policymakers in the housing sector in Brazil:
First, should the government be involved in policy
interventions in the low-income segment of the housing
market? Second, if policy action is appropriate, what roles
should policymakers at the federal, state, and municipal
levels play? Third, should the government's key
interventions in the market be focused on the supply, or
demand side of the market? Finally, how can the government
structure a comprehensive policy to deal with the failure of
the housing market to provide adequate shelter for the poor?
The report begins with a brief outline of the nature, and
extent of the low-income housing problem, describes the
policies in place to address the lack of housing, suggests a
methodological framework for assessing the paucity of
low-income housing in light of international experiences,
and identifies the main building blocks of a strategy for
low-income housing in Brazil. There are four main reasons
why a considerable backlog in housing persists: (a)
low-income levels; (b) high supply costs; (c) market
failures; and (d) distortions in public policy. Considering
low-income housing directions, we need to refer to: Access
to Land; Access to Finance; Appropriate Standards; Basic
Infrastructure Provision; Targeted Subsidies; and, Inclusion
and Partnership. Ensuring that the above elements are
incorporated in future low-income housing initiatives
requires important new directions necessary to further
facilitate an enabling approach. Reforms are advocated in
the areas of policy, institutions, and regulations; moving
away from limited, project-based approaches, adopting the
enabling principle. This new approach may not have a
monopoly on wisdom, nor does it have all the answers needed
for the complex, difficult problem of housing the urban
poor, but it does provide the most promising way forward if
the problem is to be addressed at a scale commensurate with
its magnitude, and adequate to improve substantially the
housing conditions of the poor.

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World Bank

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