Families served in 2016: 146
- Date when Habitat started working in the country: 1992
- Families served: 14,061
- Volunteers hosted: 6,232
- Housing solutions: New houses, repairs and improvements, access to water and land tenure.
Habitat for Humanity in Brazil
Habitat for Humanity Brazil began its work in 1992, after a flood struck the city of Belo Horizonte affecting hundreds of families. Since then, Habitat Brazil has developed projects in 12 states and served over 60,000 people. Currently Habitat is present in six states with projects ranging from building, repairing and improving homes, to providing access to water and strong advocacy work.
Housing need in Brazil
Brazil has between 6 and 8 million fewer houses than it needs, and people earning less than US$1,000 per month account for about 90% of this deficit.In the cities, there is overcrowding and housing deterioration. It is estimated that more than 50 million Brazilians live in inadequate conditions. According to data from several sources, 26 million people in urban areas lack access to drinking water, 14 million do not have trash collection services and 83 million are not connected to sewage systems.
Rural areas in the northeast region are currently suffering the worst drought in the past 50 years. Access to water is a privilege that over 21 million people do not have. Women and children are forced to walk long distances to fetch water for their homes, often in sources where the water is untreated.
Habitat’s contribution in Brazil
To date, Habitat Brazil has helped build 5,000 homes, improved 2,045 homes, provided water access to 480 families and helped 2,420 families secure land tenure. Habitat Brazil through its participation in national platforms and networks such as the National Forum for Urban Reform and the National Cities Council, promotes public policies that benefit millions of people living in inadequate conditions.
Building new houses: Habitat for Humanity Brazil works in partnership with the Brazilian government to build new houses for vulnerable families. Through the Minha Casa, Minha Vida (My House, My Life) program, Habitat Brazil is currently building 1,752 houses in three states.
House improvements: Through microcredit loans and with the support of a technical assistance team, qualified masons and volunteers, mothers and fathers can guarantee a better future for their children and a safe and healthy home where they can study, rest and play. A total of 1,575 families have been served with urban repairs and renovations in Brazil in six different states.
Access to water: This project aims to improve the quality of life of families who live in extreme poverty and often have to walk for up to two hours to fetch water for their homes. By repairing and enlarging their roofs and building cisterns for water catchment and storage, hundreds of families have access to safe, usable water. 480 families have been served through this program.
Financial literacy and environmental education: Workshops for families and young people on budget planning, human rights and environmental preservation encourage full community development.
Advocacy: Building impact in the sector is one of Habitat for Humanity’s global objectives. Habitat Brazil is extremely active in this goal, participating in debates and policy discussions for city councils at the national, state and municipal levels. Habitat Brazil represents all NGOs and civil society organizations in the National Cities Council – formed by 71 holders representing the most diverse segments of civil society and public power – to help solve the housing deficit and benefit more families living in inadequate houses.
Meet a Habitat family
Maria Lucia is a single working mother. She works night shifts while her 7-year-old daughter is cared for by her grandmother. Maria Lucia’s house was extremely small and dark, with almost no ventilation or natural lighting. Her daughter often missed school due to respiratory illnesses related to mold inside their home.
Through Habitat’s renovations project, Maria Lucia had access to a microcredit loan to improve her home. Beyond the regular construction work that the house required, Maria Lucia’s home also received sustainable solutions for saving water and electricity. This means that she is saving over 50% on her utilities bills. She has lowered her financial burden. But more importantly, she can rest assured that her family lives in a safe and healthy environment.
What you can do
You can help needy families in Brazil who live in unhealthy and overcrowded homes by taking one of more of the following actions:
Volunteer: Join one of the scheduled Global Village trips to Brazil or lead your own.
To learn more about Habitat projects in Brazil, please contact us:
National Executive Director HFH Brazil
Executive Director HFH São Paulo