Fire in Heliópolis, São Paulo's largest favela: "Nothing was done" | ActionAid UK

Fire in Heliópolis, São Paulo's largest favela: "Nothing was done"

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Following a fire that killed three people and left 870 people homeless in Heliópolis, São Paulo’s largest favela, where ActionAid runs child sponsorship programmes, ActionAid Brazil has confirmed that all sponsored children are safe and accounted for. However the aid agency has pointed out that new housing should be:

  • Safely constructed, close to the area the community used to live in
  • Subsidised by the government to ensure the poorest people are not exploited by slum landlords.

José Geraldo de Paula Pinto from UNA, ActionAid’s local partner in Heliópolis said:
“It was a foretold tragedy. That region had been visited by the city hall and the need for removal of people was evaluated, but nothing was done.
“What they did not do in two years, they now want to do in a week.
“The city hall seems to have no clear housing policy. There are hundreds of families that have been receiving social rent for over two years, with no prospect of being resettled.
“We are currently focused on supporting the registration of families who have lost everything. Besides social rent, the city hall should also compensate these families for their losses.”