Radical Housing Journal
Co-authored by Felipe Villela de Miranda, #UnequalCities Steering Committee member Raquel Rolnik, Renato Abramowicz Santos, and Regina Dulce Lins
Abstract: In São Paulo, Brazil, housing policies and planning shape and boost highly precarious and exploitative private rental markets. This is the case of a housing public-private partnership (PPP) that is seizing land since 2017 in a very stigmatized central neighborhood known as Cracolândia or Crackland. This paper covers the first two years of the PPP’s implementation. Based on the life trajectories of tenants and squatters of buildings targeted for demolition, looking at both their living conditions and their encounters with governments, we demonstrate how policies and planning not only fail to meet the housing needs of people repeatedly forced to move but also deepen the permanent transitoriness which marks their housing experiences and struggles of everyday life. The paper also provides historical context to the housing PPP by highlighting the sequence of demolitions induced by various urban interventions that targeted the area since the late 1990s. The findings presented here stem from action research embedded in an ongoing process of resistance to government-led displacement – a process in which the authors intervene as advocates for adequate housing, and document and analyze as researchers.