International Journal of Housing Policy
Co-authored by Kristine Stiphany and #UnequalCities Network member Peter Ward
Abstract: Although Brazilian housing policy has historically focused upon upgrading and regenerating informal settlements (urbanização), since 2009 the prioritisation of mass housing has led to social exclusion and spatial segregation across the country’s urban peripheries. Using a combined ethnographic and geospatial analysis, we provide a critical analysis of MCMVE (Minha Casa Minha Vida Entidades), a community-based housing programme that alleges the use of autogestão – collective urban management organised around an ethos of social transformation. We find this claim to be misleading. Although MCMVE ostensibly increases access to housing, it is encouraging residents to leave established, well located settlements and relocate to isolated, peripheral tracts of land. Our study emphasises the need to reconsider how MCMVE might more productively assimilate autogestão and mass housing in the future.