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By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – A report by Brazil’s Ministry of Transparency and the General Comptroller of the Union (CGU) found that 56.4 percent of the Minha Casa, Minha Vida (My Home, My Life) apartments units evaluated showed considerable structural damages in their construction, with leaning, cracked walls and leaky ceilings.

Brazil, Federal government's housing program, Minha Casa Minha Vida
Federal government’s housing program, Minha Casa Minha Vida, photo by Tomaz Silva, Agencia Brasil.

“Regarding the constructions, defects were observed in 56.4 percent of the units of the sample visited, structural failures occurred within the warranty period. The main ones were: infiltrations, lack of plumb in walls (tilting of walls), cracks and leaks,” said the report released on Wednesday (August 16th) by the Ministry.

Despite the problems encountered, officials said the satisfaction of the beneficiaries interviewed in relation to program was positive. “The level (of satisfaction) was considered ‘high’ in 33.1 percent of cases and ‘medium’ in 47.2 percent,” noted Ministry officials.

According to the Ministry of Transparency, the result may be related to the fact that federal bank Caixa Economica, which is lending the money for the program, and the construction companies involved in the works have offered assistance and conducted repairs in the damaged units.

According to officials 1,472 units were evaluated in 77 Minha Casa Minha Vida complexes in twelve states. The assessment also noted that less than 20 percent of residents reported flooding, poor lighting and lack of pavement in the external areas.

After the document was presented, officials at the Cities Ministry, in charge of the national program, were quick to state that the evaluations were made in 2015, “before the changes of rules were presented by the current administration”.

According to the Ministry of Cities new projects for Minha Casa Minha Vida units will now follow more rigorous construction standards. “It is important to remember that the changes made this year will only affect the new scope of the program and, therefore, will only be felt in future units,” the note from the Cities Ministry stated.

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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