SAO PAULO, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- Brazilian President Luiz Lula da Silva suggested Thursday the use of federal funds to revamp crumbling or condemned building for public housing.
Lula da Silva said the project is already under way, starting with a federal viability study and the creation of a government commission to evaluate which government buildings can be transformed into public housing.
"If the building is already there, it doesn't cost anything to adapt to create a home for people that need a place to live in this country," the president said during Brazil's first annual National Cities Conference.
Lula da SIlva has previously suggested the use of federal money to revamp older, abandoned buildings in Brazil's cities for public housing.
That proposal, however, has met some criticism from those who say that it would result in the growth of vertical "favelas," or slums, that surround many urban areas throughout the country.