Developmental State with Neoliberal Tools: a portrait of the Brazilian housing financial system

Autor: Mario Gomes Schapiro

Saylon Pereira


In the last decades, several countries have undertaken institutional reforms in their national housing finance systems. At the end of the 1990s, the Brazilian government followed this global trend and reformed their national housing finance system. In 1997, Congress enacted Law n. o 9.514, instituting the Real Estate Financial System (SFI) that should gradually replace the former Housing Financial System (SFH). The new SFI sought a different model of financing based on the creation of a mortgage market, which consisted of securitizing debts and fundraising via capital market. In contrast, the former SFH was a state-led arrangement that relied on direct credit policies, public subsidies and the performance of state-owned banks. This paper aims to assess the Brazilian housing reform outcomes. Regarding the legal security, the data collected pointed to the satisfactory success of these measures. However, concerning the extent to which the market relation expanded over the state domains, the achievement is different. The most apparent effect of the reform is a repositioning of state agents in the
new institutional frameworks, most notably the state-owned bank in the housing market.

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