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Although CDHU’s number and scope of achievements may appear impressive, the quality of CDHU’s housing projects and construction is subject to regular criticism. For many analysts, the quality of social housing is a big problem in Brazil generally, while CDHU in particular has been plagued by a history of accusations and cases of corruption and financial irregularities relating to the vast amounts of money it manages. CDHU has historically built large or mid-sized social housing projects on a massive scale, but some argue it has done so in the wrong places, and the wrong way. Since CDHU searches for cheap land, most projects are built in far-away peripheral areas, reinforcing the structure of segregation in the different cities of the State of São Paulo. Also, it has historically built more in the western part of the state, where the housing deficit is not the highest, owing to lower land prices. In the MRSP, where land prices are very high, CDHU has built a disproportionately low number of units, based on the scale of the housing deficit. CDHU’s successes and shortfalls mirror the challenges of the state and the metropolitan region of São Paulo with regard to good housing policy. The government of São Paulo seeks to defend and support the needs of the poor, and especially those that earn three minimum salaries or less (those in poverty). Most of São Paulo’s very poor residents live in favelas, and policies regarding those settlements have evolved in recent years from strict pledges of removal to various attempts at support. According to Eduardo Trani, Chef de Cabinet of CDHU in São Paulo, ‘Since 2005, the policy is very definitely to eliminate the social divide in São Paulo. The aim is to eradicate the favelas through integration’. Source: Governo do Estado de São Paulo. (n.d.). Secretaria da Habitação. Retrieved from: http://www.habitacao.sp.gov.br

Image: Christopher Horwood

More examples of wellestablished social housing projects.

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