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Minister of Cities agrees with study on residing in far off locations, currently in development by the Escolhas Institute.

The low-cost housing project, which appears to be segregating the low-income population in remote locations, is scheduled to launch in July this year

On June 21, the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper published an article by the Minister of Cities, Bruno Araújo, citing a study by the Escolhas Institute, “Living far away: what is the cost?”, which addresses the issue of constructing low-cost housing in the countryside, far away from urban centers. Araújo agrees with the premise of the study, whose data will be presented this July, that the housing complexes of the Minha Casa Minha Vida program (MCMV; My House My Life) are segregating the low-income population in remote locations lacking in infrastructure.

Still in the development phase and expected to launch in July 2017, the study, which is already having repercussions, seeks to provide numbers that help explain the costs involved in living far away from urban centers, both for the authorities and for society.

The initial results of the study, still to be finalized, indicate that the locations chosen for the MCMV projects are situated in areas where the land is devalued and the average commute time is well above average. Araújo says that the program’s criteria were modified to minimize the problem and the first batch of 25,000 houses which are now due for release have been contracted with rules that take into account urbanization in the areas around the land, maximum size, afforestation, and proximity of public services, among other factors.

According to Sérgio Leto, Director of Relations with the Society of the Escolhas Institute, “although it is important that the study and the theme of this subject are being discussed, it is necessary to have a clear guarantee that the Ministry will analyze and tackle the distance of these housing projects from urban centers, one of the biggest problems highlighted by the study”, says Leitão.

The minister agrees that, when flying over the projects, it is obvious the residents will be situated far from the cities. “Beyond the theory, there is the practical reality and knowing closely the reality of Minha Casa Minha Vida in Brazil, I can confirm that the picture is more serious than the studies show”, he affirms. “There is a lack of quality of life and a lack of means for proper maintenance after delivery”, he adds.

Living far away: what is the cost? examines Minha Casa Minha Vida (MCMV), the largest low-cost housing construction program in the history of Brazil, and aims to understand if the program is really considering all the costs of this option.