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Jaraguá160 is part of a bigger project developed by FICA in Brazil. Through impact investment, which allows reaching a faster pace of fundraising resources for buying houses, FICA intends to withdraw real estate units from the speculative market and offer healthy and quality housing. Besides that, a huge improvement to the tenants (most of them women, preferably) would be the existence of a formal contract of house rent. By the end of 2022, FICA is compromised with having 10 families living in their properties, all of them originally from tenements context.
Jaraguá160 will be a reference point and anchor of a comprehensive project to making housing viable for the entire community, as it will function as an organization model and horizon of possibilities. From the functional and architecture point of view, Jaraguá160 will be a lab for solutions regarding small and shared spaces, as the common spaces are shared not only by other individuals, but by other families.
FICA (Association for Community Property) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization whose objective is to provide housing in downtown São Paulo with affordable rents for low-income families. Founded in 2015, it created the figure of the social owner (social landlord) in Brazil, an actor that did not exist until then.
The institution is recognized for its knowledge of alternative ownership models and expertise in social and affordable rental. Through partnerships, it has sought solutions for improvements and interventions in tenements, precarious and overcrowded housing, where the abusive rent paid by tenants fuels the vicious cycle of precariousness and violation of rights. Website: www.fundofica.org
The future tenants of Jaraguá160 are part of the seamstresses' cooperative that is being hosted and developed at Casa do Povo, a cultural center in Bom Retiro district (same neighbourhood of Jaraguá 160 house). While Casa do Povo is working with the seamstresses so they can own their work and get rid of exploitation from garment industry middlemen, FICA would provide the same independence in the housing issue, setting the tenements' middleman aside.
FICA and Casa do Povo held a fundraising campaing together during the pandemic in 2020 called FICAemCasa.
We have renovated the building in basic aspects - roof, wall and floor coverings, wooden doors/windows, electric and hydraulic systems. We have also implemented the piped gas supply system, which costs were donated by a FICA's supporter. This was an important step regarding the fire safety in the building.
Selecting the first tenants to live in Jaraguá160 was a long process. The first seamstresses that were chosen by the cooperative to be the first tenants had to go back to Bolivia. The seamstresses cooperative had to meet and elect once again who would fit the best in the house.
The chosen tenants composed a 3-generations family: an elder couple, their son and their daughter, and the daughter's husband and 2 kids. They all currently live in a tenement house with other people and pay a high price with informal rent.
They are going to move in next month. We are currently identifying what furniture they already have and what furniture we need to provide.
We bought the house in June 2021. In July, would-be-tenants visited the house for the first time and felt at home there. A very basic renovation will take place august-september. In september-october 3 families are moving to the rooms (2 parents+2children; mother+1 child; mother+ 1 child, total 8 people). Once tenants are in, we start the process of hearing and mapping theirs experience in the house that will inform a more thorough renovation process. Design phase until january 2022, building phase during 2022, according to our resources.
The team is composed by engineers/architects, and has financial resources to develop the legal, administrative and social model to run the house.