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Sao Paulo, Brazil, March 3rd, 2022 — International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and Citas, a housing startup, will work jointly to promote the inclusion of forcibly displaced populations in the city of Sao Paulo by supporting employability initiatives and offering social housing in some of the units managed by Citas. The partnership aims to develop housing in old, retrofitted buildings in the center of the city and address historical problems that affect the population in large urban centers. The project is part of a Japanese government-funded initiative to involve private sector companies in providing solutions for refugees. One of the biggest difficulties faced by the refugee population is related to the cost associated with housing, especially given the need for guarantee checks, advance payments (deposits), and the indication of guarantors. Such requirements often lead families to settle in regions farther from the center or workplace, lacking basic infrastructure, adequate transportation, and the proper legal guarantee. The solution offered by Citas is a product that does not require a prior guarantee: residents can pay in advance for the month they will live there, even if they stay for a longer period. "We don't see this initiative as a one-off action. Inclusion and diversity are core values for Citas. Our goal with this pilot project is to prove the feasibility of alternative rental models and to encourage other owners to embrace more flexible models," says Isadora Reboucas, partner at Citas. "With this initiative, IFC fulfills its role in supporting market solutions that allow the inclusion of forcibly displaced persons through the provision of housing in central regions," says Carlos Leiria Pinto, IFC's Country Manager in Brazil. The first two buildings of the pilot project have already been defined. The buildings, located in the center of São Paulo, are close to subway stations, commercial areas and several public services. The acquisition of the building by Citas is part of its proposal to transform old buildings into practical housing, integrated with dynamic, modern life. In the project, the buildings will be remodeled and offer furnished multiple bedrooms (studios) and co-living units, that is, complete apartments with shared rooms and communal social areas, respectively. Through the partnership with IFC, some units will be offered to immigrants and refugees, promoting their integration into Brazilian society. Tenants will be chosen with partner organizations based on eligibility criteria set out in advance, according to social rental experiences in other countries and cities. The criteria will be drawn up with the support of IFC, which will also participate in the creation of indicators to measure the impact of this initiative. IFC will also work with other partners already involved in assisting refugees in Brazil – such as UNHCR Brasil – to promote and increase job and income-generating opportunities for participants. This support will be offered through various activities, such as social assistance and trainings to increase opportunities for insertion in the labor market, in order to minimize the risk of default and reduce the vacancy of the units. The partnership will also encourage sustainable construction solutions by supporting Citas in obtaining green certification for the buildings participating in the project. The company will receive guidance for the EDGE certification, an IFC innovation that is based on a software that provides technical solutions to adapt the enterprise's project to a green building, with environmental and financial results. The application reduces electrical energy consumption, water use, and the energy embedded in the construction materials by at least 20 percent compared to conventional construction. Currently, EDGE is now available in more than 170 countries. To learn more about the project, visit the Citas website: https://www.citas.com.br/post/projeto-social-citas-e-ifc About CitasCitas is a startup that facilitates access to quality housing. For Citas, living well and having quality of life goes far beyond living in a walled condominium with a swimming pool and a pet place. Citas gives new meaning to buildings, creating environments that allow for the strengthening of real ties between residents, generating, in fact, a collaborative and mutually supportive ecosystem. About IFCIFC—a member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work in more than 100 countries, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries. In fiscal year 2021, IFC committed a record $31.5 billion to private companies and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity as economies grapple with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, visit www.ifc.org. Stay Connectedwww.ifc.org/lacwww.twitter.com/IFC_LACwww.linkedin.com/company/ifc-américa-latina-y-el-caribewww.facebook.com/IFCwbgwww.instagram.com/ifc_org/www.youtube.com/IFCvideocastswww.twitter.com/IFC_orgwww.ifc.org/SocialMediaIndex
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