Sustainable Residential Improvements for Families Living in Candeias Brazil

- September 05, 2016 -

Simple and sustainable solutions are changing the lives of 30 families in the community of Vila Esperança, located in the municipality of Candeias, Brazil. The project, The Future Starts at Home, came to the region in September 2015, promoting residential improvements in precarious residences of the community. The program is helping save water and electricity, and making homes more comfortable with cooler internal temperatures.

The program will benefit low-income families with school-age children that are led by women or have a family member afflicted with a disease that is aggravated by the environment. A technical team from Habitat for Humanity developed a plan for improvements, including the construction of a complete bathroom for the family, installation of a mortar bed, opening of windows, and installation of an adequate electrical network. Additionally, the team developed a reservoir designed to store water and collect rain water. The positive effects were felt immediately — houses gained increased ventilation and, upon installation of the appropriate electrical network, the families’ monthly electrical bills were reduced by approximately 30%.

The families participate in all stages of the project, including a financial contribution that can be paid over time. The budget for each project is R$4,000 and the family pays a percentage, according to income. Up to 70% of the improvement value may be subsidized for the family. The loans are paid back installments over 18 months, and funds are returned to the program for future renovations.