Programa Bem Morar

Competition Finalist

This entry has been selected as a finalist in the
Sustainable Urban Housing: Collaborating for Liveable and Inclusive Cities competition.

The Bem Morar (“Live Well”) program is an integrated package of services and technologies to facilitate the access of low-income families and communities to decent, safe and comfortable housing. It combines housing credit, technical assistance and the production and dissemination of methods, materials and solutions for sustainable construction. The credit is provided by a community bank (Banco Bem, or “the Good Bank,” in Vitória). Families are advised on the budgets and architectural designs of their building projects, which consider the application of environmentally friendly solutions: such as soil-cement bricks, solar heating and wastewater recycling systems. The next step of the program is to produce and enhance these solutions and materials in order to spread them amongst low-income f

About You

Organization: Associação Ateliê de Idéias Visit websitemore ↓↑ hide↑ hide

About You

First Name

Leonora

Last Name

Mol

About Your Organization

Organization Name

Associação Ateliê de Idéias

Organization Phone

(27) 3227-7235

Organization Address

Rua Tenente Setúbal, 93, São Benedito, Vitória

Organization Country

Brazil, ES

Country where this project is creating social impact

Brazil, ES

Is your organization a

Non‐profit/NGO/citizen sector organization

How long has your organization been operating?

More than 5 years

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Innovation

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Entry Form title

Programa Bem Morar

Describe your project

The Bem Morar (“Live Well”) program is an integrated package of services and technologies to facilitate the access of low-income families and communities to decent, safe and comfortable housing. It combines housing credit, technical assistance and the production and dissemination of methods, materials and solutions for sustainable construction. The credit is provided by a community bank (Banco Bem, or “the Good Bank,” in Vitória). Families are advised on the budgets and architectural designs of their building projects, which consider the application of environmentally friendly solutions: such as soil-cement bricks, solar heating and wastewater recycling systems. The next step of the program is to produce and enhance these solutions and materials in order to spread them amongst low-income f

What stage is your project in?

Operating for 1‐5 years

What makes your project unique as it relates to the theme of this competition?

The Bem Territory is the name given by the residents of the region Polygonal 1, an administrative area established by the City of Vitória. The area has 31,000 inhabitants and is formed by the communities of Benedito, Bairro da Penha, Itararé, Consolação, Bonfim , Jaburu, Floresta, e Engenharia - formed about 40 years ago, through raids on slums in the city center. There is a set of common socio-economic challenges in low-income urban areas such as poor policies, services, and equipment: poverty, difficult access to credit, poor health and lack of adequate housing, illegal hookups to water and electricity and irrational use of natural resources. It is an area of steep slopes, difficult access, poor infrastructure and urbanization. Families live in poorly constructed shacks and buildings, some built of cardboard and wood. The median household income is between one and three minimum wages, with 7,000 households living below the poverty line. The approximate number of households is 8,200, most with few rooms, resulting in an average of 4 inhabitants per home. The advantage of this program is to provide this population with integrated services (credit, advice, training and access to ecologically efficient methods and materials) to grant access to decent housing that is safe, comfortable and environmentally sustainable. Another distinguishing feature will be the production of sustainable technologies for construction use and business models to facilitate the access of these low-income communities to such practices.

Share the story of the founder and what inspired the founder to start this project

I am a person who has worked in social programs since I was thirteen years old, for Pastoral de Favelas and social movements. My belief in the potential of human beings has been growing ever since. I have developed various projects in the social sector and in community health. I founded the Ateliê de Idéias Association in 2003, an institution devoted to thinking with the community about their needs, vocations and priorities and to building social capital in collaboration with local development. The proposal to seek dignified housing solutions in urban areas is an old dream I’ve had since my earliest moments in the slums when I first shared in the difficulties faced by communities.

Social Impact

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Who or what (i.e. youth, women, environment, etc.) benefits from your project, and why is your project critical?

The low-income people of Greater Vitória, in particular of the Bem Territory, are the potential target audiences for this project. These are families that live in substandard housing at a high cost to the environment. The relevance of the project lies in its capillarity and in providing effective opportunities for families to renovate/build their homes. Additional people served are those who have a hard time finding employment as they will be able to work in construction or production of materials and tools (such as all-women workers in the eco-friendly brick factory).

Furthermore, NGOs, in partnership with local entities, have a higher capacity to distribute such services for these families and communities. Partnerships with governments are strategic (participation in public policy)

Please describe how your project has been successful and how that success is measured.

The improvement of soil-cement bricks and the techniques for building houses on hillsides (specifically mountainous terrain) for low-income populations: 150 households benefited from R$ 342,907.80 in housing credit for construction and remodeling of homes; 130 homes constructed and/or remodeled through loans, with 84 of them using technical assistance services in preparation for the architectural design, budgeting and supervision of construction; Implementation of a mini-factory of eco-friendly bricks, with monthly production capacity of 36,000 eco-bricks; Implementation of an enterprise for producing and marketing eco-bricks, benefiting 5 prisoners on work-release; Agreement with the Ministry of Cities to build 24 housing units in the community of Vista Dourada in Cariacicia (ES), using elements such as the eco-bricks, solar heaters, photovoltaic panels and wastewater recycling systems in the architectural design of homes. The measurement occurs through observation of pre-identified and planned metrics in accordance with the “Lógico” (Logic) Mark of the project (performance and product indicators).

How many people have been impacted by your project?

101 - 1,000

How many people could be impacted by your project in the next three years?

1001‐10,000

What barriers might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

The first challenge is the production and diffusion of environmentally sustainable housing technologies. It is an ambitious undertaking that aims to facilitate access for low-income communities to construction solutions that are normally aimed at wealthy populations and large development projects. Demand for human resources, equipment and infrastructure is expensive and difficult to maintain. The strategy is to establish a social business and partner with local companies and investors for R & D, capitalization of the business and to acquire necessary infrastructure. The first step, already accomplished, is the eco-brick factory, which was made in partnership with a local company and is run solely by women from Cariacica.

How will your project evolve over the next three years?

The first step was the agreement signed with the Ministry of Cities for construction of 24 housing units in the community of Vista Dourada in Cariacica. These houses will be sustainably produced and the process has allowed us to create 5 job positions solely for women and 15 more slots in ecological construction courses for the surrounding residents (professional training). Partnerships with social investors and public policies are in the works. Besides this, we have our investment in R & D for the production and dissemination of new housing technologies and business models to facilitate the access of low-income populations to these modern solutions in the short-term: improvement of the eco-bricks, photovoltaic panels, wastewater recycling systems, rain water harvesting, etc.

Sustainability

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For each selection, please explain the financial and non-financial support from each

Brazil Foundation- 25,000
IAF- R$33,000
Cooperforte Institute- R$15,000
NGO Moradia e Cidadania (Housing and Citizenship)- R$15,000

Ministry of Cities - R$ 801,000
HSBC Solidarity Institute - R$ 110,000
Energies Institute of Portugal (EDP) - R$ 59,900
Ashoka - R$ 70,560.36
Marca Ambiental (“Environmental Brand”)- space and structure for the operation of the brick factory and permanent donation of land.
Federal University of Espírito Santo (UFES) – Laboratory infrastructure for tests, student internships in the field of civil engineering, production engineering and architecture.

How do you plan to grow and/or diversify your base of support in the next three years?

The area of R&D for sustainable housing technologies for low income populations will be a strategic component. A social business will be formulated and implemented, based on the production and management of knowledge and in the distribution methods, materials and tools produced. The strategy is to create new business models which facilitate the access of low-income families to these solutions. And the social business could run the whole Project—funded by partners (social investors and public policies) and in part by the very families benefiting as clients (to this end, these families will have access to housing credit from the local community bank, allowing them to plan and pay for the service in the long term).

A campaign is being prepared to give visibility to the concept of "sustainable construction for low-income populations,” to show that sustainable urban development in the coming years depends on integrated policies and the entire society to disseminate environmentally sound practices in housing projects. We assume that is concept is a top priority for social investors and governments in Brazil, especially considering the current economic times.

Partnerships are being negotiated with a wide range of actors, not only for funding but for reducing logistic and operational costs. An example is our partnership with the Marca Ambiental (“Environmental Mark”), which gives us all the physical space and infrastructure for the eco-brick factory within their plant. Other examples include the resources provided to us by UFES.

Collaboration

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Please select your areas of intervention in the home improvement market

Financing, Design, Technology, Technical assistance, Labor, Sanitation, Water, Infrastructure, Energy conservation, Renewable energy, Green housing, Environment, Income generation, Urban development, Public policy.

Is your innovation addressing barriers in the home improvement/progressive housing market? If so, please describe in detail your mechanisms of intervention

One of the most ambitious aspects of the strategy is an attempt to alter the construction market by promoting and facilitating access by low-income families and communities to sustainable and modern housing technologies that are environmentally efficient for construction/remodeling of their homes. Today, these technologies are expensive and usually target wealthy populations or large development projects. One objective of this proposal is to create business and distribution models of these solutions so they can be used in public housing projects (in partnership with governments and social investors) and purchased by individual households when they build or renovate their homes, making them more secure, comfortable, dignified and sustainable.

It is noted that community banks are highly strategic instruments used in formulating innovative business models to bring these technologies to families in vulnerable areas. The community banks allow families to access financing to acquire the technology and purchase services (technical assistance), as they can make payments over the long term. Today in Brazil, there has been an increase in the income streams of families of the lowest classes, D and E. Although this positive change has not yet allowed people of these classes to buy these types of services/products under normal formal market conditions (tighter restrictions on access to credit and higher interest rates), it is much easier for them to access that market when they have the support of more flexible credit - as the model for finance proximity (solidarity) and the community banks predicts.

It is also noteworthy that the project is active on other fronts. In the production of materials, the generation of employment for those with difficult employability and in human resources training for sustainable construction. The first example is the creation of 5 job positions for women in the eco-brick factory. Another example is the provision of 15 slots for courses on ecological construction for residents of the neighborhood surrounding the factory. This will impact the construction market in Greater Vitória - both in the supply of materials and tools, and in the greater availability of skilled professionals to use sustainable methods of construction.

Are you currently collaborating with private companies, or have you partnered with private companies in the past? With which companies?

The Ateliê de Idéias is a member of Habitat Living Labs, which also includes the participation of representatives of all social and economic sectors of the state of Espírito Santo. Another key partnership is with the Federal University of Espírito Santo. However, partnerships with companies are very strategically important for the project. The first corporate partnership was with Marca Ambiental, which provided physical space and infrastructure for implementation of the eco-brick factory at its industrial plant in Cariacica.

Other corporate partners, through their social investment institutes, are: the HSBC Group and Energies of Portugal (EDP).

Please describe in detail the nature of the partnership(s)

The Marca Ambiental provides a physical space and infrastructure in its industrial plant for the eco-brick factory. The HSBC Solidarity Institute and the EDP Institute are financial supporters of the project. Habitat Living Labs participates in studies for the planning and analysis of project viability and sustainability, as well as acting as a consultant for the technical procedures of the project. in Habitat for planning studies and analysis of viability and sustainability, as well as acting as a consultant in the technical procedures of the project. The Federal University of Espirito Santo (UFES) gives human resources (teachers, researchers and technicians) to serve on the project, and provides infrastructure for research and experimentation (engineering laboratories).

Select the unit(s) with which the partnership was formed

Foundation of the company, Corporate social responsibility department, R&D department.

186 weeks ago said: Os resultados de iniciativas como esta atestam a importância da aproximação da prática arquitetônica junto às comunidades locais. ... about this Competition Entry. - read more >
187 weeks ago Glaucio Gomes said: O Programa Bem Morar é uma tecnologia na área de gestão habitacional e de desenvolvimento urbano sustentável. Integra produtos e ... about this Competition Entry. - read more >
188 weeks ago Programa Bem Morar has been chosen as a finalist in Sustainable Urban Housing: Collaborating for Liveable and Inclusive Cities.