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By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – President of Brazil, Michel Temer, is expected to announce on Monday new rules for the low-income housing government program Minha Casa Minha Vida (My Home, My Life), which the government hopes will lead to 600,000 new units this year. For the construction sector the announcement will bring some relief.

Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, Minha Casa Minha Vida program
Government housing program, Minha Casa Minha Vida provides houses such as these in the state of Rio de Janeiro for low income families, photo by Tomaz Silva/Agencia Brasil.

According to local media the government hopes to stimulate the construction of houses and increase the number of families helped by increasing the maximum limit of household income to qualify for the program.

President of the Brazilian Chamber of Construction Industry, José Carlos Martinssaid today enthused on a TV news program, “Our industry is a sector that can quickly respond to this demand.”

O Globo reported that the maximum income for joining the program will increase from R$6,500 to R$9,000 and the maximum value of the unit will increase from R$225,000 to R$240,000.

The announcement is the first effort in the low-income housing sector by the Temer Administration since it took over the government of impeached President Dilma Rousseff, in September 2016.

Although in his first speech as interim president, Temer promised to ‘maintain and improve social programs which were successful’, including the Minha Casa Minha Vida program, the initiative hit a roadblock last year, when the incoming administration announced it was halting the authorization of the construction of up to 11,000 new housing units. The order had been signed by the Rousseff administration only days before President Rousseff was suspended from office.

The Minha Casa Minha Vida is a massive public low-income housing program launched by the Brazilian PT Workers’ Party in 2009. Since then the program has had investments totaling R$300 billion, more than 4.2 million housing units authorized for construction and 2.62 million units delivered to low-income families.

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