Informal Adaptive Reuse

The Roofless Movement in Sao Paolo, Brazil gains momentum as the needs for affordable housing are continuously not met.
August 7, 2003, 5am PDT | Connie Chung
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The "Movimento dos Sem Teto, or the 'roofless' movement, an urban phenomenon in Brazil in which families take over empty downtown high-rise apartment buildings, shuttered government offices, former hotels and, once, an abandoned movie theater in Sao Paulo" has significantly increased occupations in recent months. "The 'roofless' have modeled their fight after Brazil's largest social movement, the Landless Rural Workers Movement, a two-decade struggle to obtain land for the poor in a nation where fewer than 5 percent of the people own more than half the arable land." State officials estimate a housing backlog of 400,000 units in the metro area of Sao Paolo, "but independent research estimates the need for housing is much higher. Already as many as half the city's 10.5 million people live in illegal, unregulated housing."

Thanks to Connie Chung

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Published on Monday, August 4, 2003 in The Chicago Tribune
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