Held between 2010 and 2011, the Cape Verde Housing Development Support project was based on the expertise of Caixa Econômica Federal (CAIXA), a Brazilian public banking entity with extensive work in the areas of urban development, housing and social program management. Coordinated by the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC), this project aimed at transferring knowledge from CAIXA and the Brazilian Ministry of Cities related to the "Minha Casa Minha Vida" program, aimed at replicating it in Cape Verde through the "Casa for All "of the ministry in charge of housing.
The Cape Verdean government elected 2009 as "Year of Housing" and promoted measures and strategies to promote social housing throughout the country, seeking to create the conditions for the gradual fulfillment of one of the constitutional determinations claimed by the population: the right housing. Thus, the "House for All" program was created in that year, considering that the country then had a quantitative housing deficit of about 40 thousand houses (according to data from the ministry in charge of housing). However, there was still a need to formally structure the program as a public housing policy, in order to make it capable of grouping and institutionalizing the instruments required for the promotion and viability of the construction of new housing (8.5 thousand units) and the rehabilitation of preexisting precarious housing (about 16 thousand units).
The Cape Verde Housing Development Support project aimed to transfer knowledge to the structuring of the "House for All" program, in terms of the consolidation of instruments and procedures necessary for its implementation. The cooperation involved technical visits to initiatives carried out by the Brazilian housing program, training of a ministry staff in charge of housing, technical advice and the joint preparation of support tools and documents with guidelines related to the production of housing developments for the population of low income.
Thus, the project included the training of Cape Verdean professionals in the analysis of unproven income and the provision of technical assistance to the ministry in charge of housing in several areas, such as:
- consolidation of the methodology for calculating the housing deficit and the inadequacy of housing;
- the preparation of the guide of adhesion of the municipalities to the National System of Housing of Social Interest;
- preparation of the "Casa para Todos" manuals;
- the calculation of the distribution of subsidies under the program and the structuring of the guarantee fund;
- elaboration of the methodology for implementing urban, legal and tax instruments for urban policy;
- the structuring of a national program to support sustainable land regularization; and
- the structuring of territorial registers with multiple purposes.
Among the products prepared jointly by CAIXA and the Cape Verdean ministry in charge of housing are the following documents and instruments necessary for the implementation of the "Casa para Todos" program:
- tenderer's manuals and engineering analysis;
- the social work manual (which included the training of about 100 local staff);
- the operating procedures manual for contracting;
- a technical analysis report on the adequacy of the Cape Verdean single cadastre structure (registration system that allows the identification of the low-income families that will benefit from the program);
- the electronic selection of beneficiaries of social housing through a single cadastre;
- the financial model for sustaining the program;
- the financial calculation worksheet compatible with local reality;
- a manual of technological innovations; and
- a spreadsheet with parameters for the analysis of the tenders for the contracting of builders.
Thanks to the results of this cooperation initiative, the Cape Verdean government was able to carry out international competitions to build, initially, 1,7 thousand new housing units. The Cape Verde Housing Development Support project is part of the "best practices" published in UN-Habitat's "Best Practices and Local Leadership Program".
Supported by: Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC) and Caixa Econômica Federal (CAIXA)
On the Brazilian side: CAIXA and the Ministry of Cities
On the Cape Verde side: Ministry of Environment, Housing and Spatial Planning, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Communities
Leonardo Miguel Farinassi,
National Manager of International Relations Strategy,
Caixa Econômica Federal (CAIXA)