Intensification of, and responses to, housing struggles in Brazil under the Covid-19 pandemic

Maria Carolina Maziveiro with Alejandra Reyes and Erin McElroy

Published in Issue 3.1 // Conversations

Keywords: Brazil, COVID-19, Zero Evictions Campaign


The Covid-19 pandemic has severely impacted historically vulnerable populations in Brazil such as the unhoused and those living in tenements and quilombolas, and in particular black, brown and indigenous peoples. This has intensified issues of unemployment, indebtedness, precarious work and hunger among Brazilians who already faced various forms of violence. Yet important efforts have emerged to confront these conditions, such as the Zero Evictions Campaign launched in July 2020 by social movements and national entities with international support. It has demanded the suspension of any activity or violation of rights, even if supported by a judicial or administrative decision, that aim to evacuate families and communities.

Maria Carolina Maziviero is Assistant Professor of Urbanism and Urban Planning at the Federal University of Paraná – UFPR Curitiba/Brazil, and she coordinates the research group CUAL – Urban Commons in Latin America. She is also part of the Zero Eviction Campaign and the PrContraCovid Platform. Her research interests are on activism, insurgencies and the commons, and on investigating tactics and strategies used by local agents and activists and how they renew the struggle for the right to the city.

Alejandra Reyes is Assistant Professor of Urban Planning and Public Policy at UC Irvine’s School of Social Ecology. Her research analyzes multifaceted matters – most notably the relationships between governance, housing production, and issues of access – and highlights the critical influence of political and economic factors on urban development.

Erin McElroy is a Postdoctoral Researcher at New York University’s AI Now Institute working on intersections of property, race, and technology in the US and Romania. Erin is founder of the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project–a data visualization, multimedia, and counter-mapping collective dedicated to producing maps, narratives, and tools for housing justice.

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