Summary of the Request
Under the Habitar Brasil Program, the Government of São José dos Campos implemented the “Casa da Gente” project to resettle 453 families residing in a squatter settlement located in the same region. Some of the families from the Vila Nova Tatetuba community decided not to accept the proposed resettlement. Consequently, since being evicted from their homes in 2003, they have been living in makeshift dwellings in a warehouse belonging to the former federal rail system or in rented housing.
Through the “Central de Movimentos Populares de São José dos Campos”, the 28 Requester families stated in their Request that the resettlement proposal was rejected on the grounds that it would cause them social and economic harm, given that the new location lacked basic infrastructure and was very far away from the areas where the Requesters were employed. They further stated that, after having been evicted from their original homes, they have not received any financial compensation and their living conditions have significantly deteriorated.
During the assessment process, a conclusion was reached that the Executing Agency only offered the relocated families a conditional granting of homes in the Jardim São José II neighborhood, which apparently did not guarantee the maintenance or improvement of living conditions of the population affected by the Project, as established in the IDB Involuntary Resettlement Policy. Furthermore, a clear opportunity to search for alternatives that could resolve the concerns raised in the Request by means of a dialogue process among the Parties was identified.
In October of 2012, although significant advancement had been made, the dialogue process experienced some delays due to the municipal electoral calendar in the city.
The process resumed in 2013, with the participation of the new municipal administration. Throughout this entire year, the Parties collaborated in the search for residential alternatives for the 28 affected families.
In May of 2014, the Requesters and the City of São José dos Campos reached an agreement, which would be monitored by the MICI. This agreement offers a definitive residential solution for the families, and includes a Social Support Plan for the transition of the families. In addition, it calls for the formation of a Joint Commission for the timely and collaborative monitoring of the process among the Parties.
In November of 2016, with the construction of the homes completed, the relocation of the families to their new homes was carried out.
In January of 2017, the MICI visited São José dos Campos, within the context of the change in the Municipal Administration that occurred, obtaining support for the process. In that context MICI continued with the monitoring activities, adjusting the timetable in July and confirming the donation of the area to the Municipal Administration at the end of the year. In February 2018, a MICI delegation visited São José dos Campos to interact directly with the new interlocutors of the Municipal Government, facilitate a joint visit to the houses and adjust the Work Plan to monitor the last pending activities of the case.
At the end of 2018, activities foreseen in the Social Action Plan were concluded, leaving as only pending issue the formalization of the properties in name of the Requesters, as defined in the agreement.
During a MICI team visit to São José dos Campos in May 2019, through meetings with all the involved Parties, the parties agreed on a closure plan for the activities.
Having reached the 5 years envisaged for monitoring the agreement, in December 2019, the monitoring stage by MICI was concluded. In January 2020, the closing act was signed and the parties agreed that the Public Defender, as local mechanism, would accompany the compliance of the formalization of home ownership for the families. In April 2020, the local Government and the Public Defender’s Office informed the MICI about the progress and that already several property titles were ready and will be delivered once the COVID 19 contingency has ended.