Brazil: Lula signs into law bill on housing for the poorest
Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva pledged to turn abandoned public buildings into low-income housing units as he signed into law a bill providing for the construction by 2026 of two million buildings as part of the My House My Life plan.
Poor people want to live well, everyone deserves to live well. That is why I say to the construction businessmen, to the government’s technical teams, that houses must be made better and better, with space, with balconies. Everyone dreams of living in a place with quality. It is important to give quality products to the poorest people, Lula said.
The My House My Life initiative had been launched by Lula during his first two terms in office (2003-2010) when 4 million houses were delivered. The plan will now reach the lower middle class with subsidized interest rates, it was explained.
We have to be aware of the capacity to do that we Brazilians have. This country will not be made by the Germans, the French, the Americans, it will be made by us, with our way of being. We are returning to normality, with harmony among the powers, Lula insisted while pointing out that one of the options to accelerate the construction of housing was to grant real estate and land from the federal government and allocate it to low-income housing in the central areas of the cities, in addition to fighting for the use of abandoned buildings for the same purpose.
We have to grab the abandoned buildings, land, [and] official real estate in central areas and distribute them with the people. Instead of taking people to live 20 kilometers away from the city center, we have to take them to the city center where the infrastructure is already in place. It is just doing the obvious, we were not elected last year to invent anything, but to do what has to be done for the success of Brazil, respecting the people, Lula went on.
This type of law demonstrates the need for the State to feel obliged to make this historic reparation, he added.
Depending on the family income, the financing will be for properties from R$ 170,000 (US$ 35,000) up to R$ 350,000 (US$ 73,000) with rates ranging from 4% to 8.16% per annum, in the case of families with the highest value loan.
In his speech, Lula also defended the government’s interest rate subsidy plan and took the opportunity to criticize the head of Brazil’s Central Bank (BCB), the Bolsonarist Roberto Campos Neto, who has a parliamentary mandate until 2024, and has maintained the Selic interest rate at 13.75% per annum, when the inter-annual inflation is less than 4%.