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The path and future of Brazilian housing policies: a historical and gendered view on forced evictions in Rio de Janeiro

Grant number: 19/10203-2
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2020
Effective date (End): November 30, 2021
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Architecture and Town Planning - Fundamentals of Architecture and Urbanism
Principal researcher:Nabil Georges Bonduki
Grantee:Maria Luiza Tuche Perciano Belo
Home Institution: Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo (FAU). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

This research aims at debating in which way the production of urban public policies marked by the coloniality of gender contributes to the creation of structural inequalities in the access and guarantee of the Right to Housing in Brazil. Therefore, I propose the exercise of "pulling the thread of history" of forced evictions in the city of Rio de Janeiro, asking all along the process: where are the women affected by the politics of eviction? In order to do this, I will use a methodological bifurcation to achieve the project's objectives. A first moment will be focused on analysing eviction policies and social housing provision in two specific periods of Rio de Janeiro's urban history, that is, the administrations of Carlos Lacerda and Negrão de Lima (1960-1971) and the government of Eduardo Paes (2009-2017). A later moment will dedicated to ethnographical work, seeking to collect narratives of women whose lives have been impacted by such policies, both in the 1960s and 1970s as well as in contemporary times. The departure point of this research is that when looking at the genesis of concepts such as the Law, the City, Democracy, a specific subject masked as universal figures as the starting point. Thus, I will argue that when dissecting Brazilian housing policies, we will find formulations still based on the experiences of the master subject as defended by Donna Haraway (1995), that is, a concept that uses the experiences of the European, male, white, heteronormative, civilised, rational subject as considered universal to all inhabitants of the city. To unmask the false universalism under which these institutions are based, is the first step in an analysis that seeks to broaden the narratives about the production and appropriation of the urban space. Bringing this exercise to urban planning is fundamental in clarifying from whom and to who urban public policies have been made. Therefore, I argue that the absence and erasures of certain subjects at institutional levels are also reflected in the city.In order to outline the ways to answer these questions, the case study of the project will focus on two historical moments in the city of Rio de Janeiro. In the Carlos Lacerda-Negrão de Lima administration (1960s and 1970s), I will focus on the work of the Social Housing Coordination of the Metropolitan Area (CHISAM), the financing of the National Housing Bank (BNH) and USAID's support for the political project of removing 92,000 people a year and ending all favelas until 1976. In the administration of Eduardo Paes, I will attend to the goals of the Plurianual Plan of Government, which aimed to reduce the territory occupied by favelas in 5% in Rio de Janeiro, the performance of the Municipal Housing Secretariat (SMH) and the implementation of the Minha Casa Minha Vida Project in the city of Rio de Janeiro as an alternative housing for the families removed. A moment of ethnographic research will be fundamental as a methodology of the project. The purpose of this is to expand the documentation of the narratives of women who have suffered from the impacts of removal policies both in the 1960s and 1970s and nowadays. The importance is to have access to another story to the one that is told "officially" and that is in danger of being lost in time. I will seek contact with the women who have been removed from both favelas to the BNH housing complexes, and women who have recently been removed from favelas to Minha Casa Minha Vida housing units. With these interviews I will try to understand how evictions and housing policies affect men and women differently. Knowing the social reality of the beneficiary public of these policies, it is possible to create a framework of urban policies aligned with the principles of social and spatial justice. (AU)

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