After the police occupation in November of 2011, rent has increased by 30%
The occupation of Rocinha by security forces has put the community in focus. Conveniently located in the south zone of Rio de Janeiro, close to the beach and overlooking the ocean, peace should be cause for celebration for the residents, but instead it has brought a side effect difficult to control: the rising cost of living that has caused a “migratory exodus” in the slum that was once considered the largest in Latin America.
This new reality has hit the family of Anderson Luiz Ferreira da Silva, 35. Since the occupation in November of 2011, the rent has increased by 16.5% and the landlord has warned: the value of property will only go up.
– I do not want to leave, but if things continue this way, I will not have a choice.
Anderson is a chef, but is currently not working because his place of employment is undergoing renovations. He and his wife Andressa Souza Carvalho and two sons, Nicholas and Victoria live in a house with a kitchen, living room and bathroom. After the occupation the rent not only the rent went up but the family also had to pay a higher electricity bill forcing them to change their habits.
– We gave up using the air-conditioning. We have the ac unit, but the bill is too expensive. In the first month, we paid $ 11. In early February, the bill came to $ 50. At that point it was too much to handle.
Anderson said his family is not the one that is struggling. One of his neighbors has moved to Fluminense and another resident living in the same building is planning to do the same.
Anderson recalls five years ago living in the lower part of Rocinha, considered a very desirable area of the community, where he only paid $300 for rent in a two-bedroom house, but he always had problems in this house such as lack of water. In search of a more affordable price, he moved to an apartment in an area known as Cesario, next to the street, in an area further up the hill in the community. Despite his move he couldn’t escape the price increase.
– I came up here just to pay less, but now I’m paying the same amount I did five years ago in a much smaller apartment.
According to the property manager Jorge Ricardo Souza dos Santos, 35, known as Kadinho, these cases are not isolated. Despite the high demand for housing in Rocinha residents leave every day for financial reasons.
– Rocinha has always had expensive rent, but after the police occupation, there has been more disclosure regarding property value. Now rent has increased and the options of affordable houses are decreasing. I’m seeing a lot of people even returning to the Northeast. Every day there are about five or six moving trucks on my street. Rocinha is getting more expensive in a market that that was already expensive.
Rocinha: rent up to $ 1,200
Before the police entered in November of last year, renting a one bedroom piece of property in the lower part of Rocinha cost $ 400. Today the average is $ 600. A year ago, living in a two-bedroom house in Rocinha would cost $ 600 per month, but now the figure can easily reach $ 1,000. In the case of finished houses with at least three bedrooms, the rent reaches up to $ 1,200. The average increase has been $ 200, or about 30% of the minimum wage.
Professor Ricardo Ismael, Department of Sociology and Politics at PUC-Rio Catholic University, notes that this phenomenon not only affects that of Rocinha. In 2011, he did research on the living situation in the favela Parque da Cidade in the neighborhood of Gavea, Rocinha’s neighbor. According to the survey, the community, which has about 10,000 residents, averaged rent at about $ 600 a month and the study found that the rent was increasing.
– We noticed that people who were renting found it difficult to pay their bills and had to start looking for alternatives.
Ismael points out that the value of real estate affects even those who live in the surrounding slums, especially in the south zone of the city, which has gone through the process of pacification. However, he acknowledges that these effects are felt most in the communities where workers earn salaries.
– There is a very high valuation of real estate, which is going far beyond the increase received by workers living on the minimum wage.
Original Article from Isabele Rangel, do R7 | 03/03/2012 às 16h40: