By Esmee Verbeek, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – At a meeting for the Brazilian federal government’s program “Minha Casa, Minha Vida” (My House, My Life) yesterday, President Dilma Rousseff proclaimed that, in contrary to many “developed” countries, Brazil’s income equality is improving. The president said “Brazil is [going] counter-current, sees the importance of quality of life of its population, and therefore, I am sure that this country is going to make a leap to more.”
President Rousseff made these comments after returning from her visit to the U.S., where she discussed issues regarding the international economic crisis, the Rio+20 Conference, and the new student exchange program.
Back in Brazil, the president focused once again on domestic concerns; the Minha Casa, Minha Vida program. This effort helps low-income families – with salaries up to R$1,600 (US$1,000) – afford homes of their own by requiring payment of a maximum of ten percent on their mortgage, for a fixed period of ten years.
Until now the goal of the governmental program was to build two million homes until 2014. But Rousseff yesterday announced there is going to be an expansion to reach 2.4 million homes. This will benefit 2,582 municipalities with up to 50,000 inhabitants, with an additional investment of R$2.8 billion to build 107,348 more units.
The president explained: “This means [we can] generate employment opportunities; the local companies will buy [more] products and cement. And also, as we do so, we create social justice, which creates an economical growth.”
The main criteria for selecting cities for the program are the concentration of poverty and the housing shortage.
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