Since February 5th, the Movement Without Roof of the Center (MSTC) is camped in front of São Paulos's city hall, against the cut of the city hall's Rent Program and against the imminent eviction of the Prestes Maia's occupation, the bigger vertical occupation of Latin America.
In a letter to the mayor Gilberto Kassab, the families reminded that the owners of the building have an debt in taxes worth of 2.900 US dollars with the city hall, which is almost the same value of the building, therefore justifying it's dispossessing and reforming into a popular dwelling. The movement was received by a few represents of the city hall, that promised to attend some families in housing programs as PAR, without however say when those families would be attended.
The Prestes Maia's Occupation shelters 468 families, a library with 15 thousand books, a cooperative of recycling, expositions of art, the Cineclube of Brazilian Documentaries and the Popular School Preste Maia, where art classes, hair design, electronic and hydraulic are taught. In 2005, historical occupations such as the one in Ouvidor Street (also in downtown), that would be completing 8 years, were evicted and until today those buildings are found empty and with it's doors sealed with cement, expecting the real estate speculation.
A publication of the Urban Development Secretary brings to light an intriguing fact: in Brazil, there are 6.029.000 empty residences. In São Paulo, capital, the number of empty property (254 thousand units) is bigger than the estimate housing deficit of the city (203,4 thousand units). There is a lot of unoccupied and sub-utilized properties, but there is no dwelling.
Letter to the mayor Kassab | Prestes Maia: threat of reintegration and four years of indifference | MSTC camps in front of the city hall | Demostrators of the MSTC camped in the front of the city hall | File "Violations of the human rights in the center of São Paulo", by the Forum Downtown Lives | Blog of the Prestes Maia Occupation (Caros Amigos Magazine) | Integration without possession | Library of the Prestes Maia Occupation
Previous Features: Recycling project in Prestes Maia Occupation | Prestes Maia occupation without light and water since saturday | Prestes Maia's Popular School shelters cineclube of documentaries | Acts against the eviction of the Prestes Maia Occupation | Av. Prestes Maia, 911: the last big occupation of São Paulo downtown can be evicted | Act against the reintegration of possession of the Preste Maia Occupation