Residents have since been given the option of accepting compensation from the city in exchange for their land although residents say the amount of money is too little to buy other property nearby or being relocated to other housing projects. The area surrounding Vila Autodromo is considered prime real estate in Brazil, where housing demand far outstrips supply.
Most of the relocations in the city aim at removing families who live in risk areas and are required to improve city infrastructure, according to the 2016 Olympic Games website. Where necessary, in order to avoid any losses to dwellers, the relocation is carried out by common agreement with the families.
Not everyone is reassured.
All my friends live here and they grew up with me, Quintiano said. Theres cousins in all of these houses, and all of my family lives here. I grew up with all of my friends here.
City officials have said that residents will be relocated to a better place, but a visit to a plot where the city originally planned to relocate them, a few miles away, suggests why many were dead set against the move. A stream of open sewage full of discarded newspapers and debris lines the road that separates the new neighborhood from the adjacent one. The mayor shelved that option after reports that the official requirements for launching the project hadnt been fulfilled and the area was deemed at risk for mudslides.
All this uncertainty has the community on edge.
We live here, we work here and we depend on the people around here to be able to work, Carlos said. We are neighbors, and we are desperate. We are very hopeless. Every night we go to sleep thinking about removals. We wake up thinking about removals.
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