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Collective ownership and self-management of housing in Latin America: contemporary challenges and horizons

Grant number: 22/14524-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2023
Effective date (End): September 30, 2026
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Urban and Regional Planning - Urban and Regional Services
Principal Investigator:Raquel Rolnik
Grantee:Pedro Henrique Barbosa Muniz Lima
Host Institution: Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo (FAU). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Grounding the hegemony of individual private property in the policies and processes of production of housing and the city, there is a proprietary reason, structuring the forms of understanding and the occupation of the territory, in its material and symbolic dimensions. This reason is an essential element of a widespread housing crisis that, especially in Latin America, is built on a colonial historical basis of dispossession and territorial exclusion. On the other hand, there are urban territories and communities produced and inhabited in collective ownership and self-management schemes, which seek to resist these processes, such as users housing cooperatives and community land trusts. However, the recent dynamics of impoverishment, indebtedness, precariousness of work, increase in urban precariousness and transformations of the State under neoliberalism, which intensify and complicate the housing crisis, also cross these communities. The objective of this research is to investigate the ways in which these contemporary dynamics affect the territories of housing in collective ownership and self-management, and which socio-territorial practices of protection and confrontation are mobilized by these territories as responses, and their impacts, building a critical panorama between the different Latin American experiences. The hypothesis is that, in the midst of these crossings, the practices of production and collective management of the territory are important strategies to protect its residents against dispossession processes and, at the same time, advance towards the decommodification of housing and the confrontation of the proprietary reason and the housing crisis. The investigation will be structured in three thematic axes (financing and ownership models, forms of social organization and spatialities) and in two scales, which also correspond to the two stages of the research: a panoramic look at the groups of experiences (organized through national and regional federations), and, later, case studies in specific territories that are part of these groups, which allow a more detailed understanding of the socio-territorial practices of the communities, as well as the tensions to which they are subject in contemporary times. (AU)

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