By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – The new Cities Minister in Brazil, Bruno Araujo, revoked on Tuesday (May 17th) a government order that would allow state-run bank, Caixa Economica, to authorize the construction of up to 11,000 new housing units under the entities modal of the Minha Casa, Minha Vida (My Home, My Life) housing program. The order had been signed by the Rousseff administration only days before President Rousseff was suspended from office.
According to the Ministry, the annulment of the directive was ordered as a cautionary measure. “From now on technical teams from the Ministry’s National Housing Department will analyze and discuss the housing model in the entities modal,” said a press release by the Ministry. The Ministry said housing contracts under the entities modal only account for 1.5 percent of all the housing contracts of the Minha Casa Minha Vida program.
According to officials, the entities modal within the Minha Casa Minha Vida program calls for organizations chosen by the government to administer the construction of the subsidized housing units. Some of these entities have positioned themselves against the impeachment of President Rousseff.
The Movimento dos Trabalhadores Sem Teto – MTST (Homeless Workers Movement) criticized the decision on social media. “This is the first real cut in social programs conducted by the illegitimate government of Michel Temer, who until yesterday said he would not withhold resources for social programs,” stated the movement in its Facebook page.
According to the MTST the ‘illegal government’ is now revealing its real objectives and social movements will show their strength on the streets. “The MSTS will organize large demonstrations in the next few days in São Paulo, Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro and several other capitals against the seizure of low-income housing resources by those who also seized the command of the Brazilian State.”
In his first speech as interim president, Michel Temer, promised to ‘maintain and improve social programs which were successful’, including the Minha Casa Minha Vida, one of the PT (Workers’ Party) main flagship programs.