The reaction counts with the participation of even the head of Secom (Secretariat of Communication of the Presidency of the Republic), Fabio Wajngarten, owner of a house in the place, who promised to monitor the situation with the federal government.
What makes the residents of the São Sebastião neighborhood sleep is the precarious conditions of basic sanitation at the site, the possibility that the current population of about 10,000 inhabitants will grow by up to 10% with the arrival of new families and environmental impacts.
In early January, the residents’ association that presses the government won the support of Wajngarten – who promised neighbors to follow the situation at the federal level, according to people who attended the meeting at which he gave a lecture.
The area chosen by the city to build the popular houses is a few blocks from the beach amid vegetation, close to the Serra do Mar state park.
A clean river with clear waters cuts through the land, but a few meters ahead it meets another watercourse, the Ipiranga, which is polluted and has a strong bad smell. Together, they flow into the sea.
For years, the population has demanded from the São Sebastião City Hall the construction of a Sabesp sewage treatment plant. As it never arrived, regular houses have septic tanks.
“But we have an inconvenience here,” says the president of Somar (residents’ association), Eliseu Arantes, who has lived in the place for 40 years. “The water table is about 80 cm deep. When it rains, there is sewage everywhere. ”
“How are they going to want to put about a thousand more people there?” Asks community leader Cássio Murilo Furtado.
He says that officially there are only 25 families registered by the city able to be part of the housing program. The fear of him and other residents is that the measure will help to further inflate the number of inhabitants in an area without minimal infrastructure.
Despite gathering mansions in gated communities, Maresias does not have sewage collection. “I go out with my canoe down the river and all I see are sewage pipes that are discharged right there,” he says.
The neighborhood currently has about 10,000 residents, but during the high summer season it receives 70,000 tourists, making sanitation in the region even more complicated.
The president of Somar says that he is not against the construction of popular houses, but that the local population should be consulted and that there are other priorities in the neighborhood.
He says that Maresias today suffers from problems such as lack of employment for new families, lack of basic services such as daycare centers and health centers and questions the absence of environmental impact studies for the construction of housing units.
Among the residents there are also those who complain and see to the extent a threat of devaluation of their properties and effects on the local hotel industry, which works with almost total occupation during the summer.
“Although not the main concern, with the construction [do conjunto] there is a natural tendency for other properties to devalue, ”says Arantes.
Other points raised by the residents’ association are the possibility that the houses are sold in the future, generating real estate speculation and that the housing complex also attracts the construction of houses that invade the vegetation area of the Serra do Mar state park.
The association filed the questions at the city hall pending a response.
“As there is already a company chosen in the bidding to do the construction, it should not be difficult for the city to answer if they have already carried out environmental impact studies in the region”, says the president of Somar.
Sought by leaf, the City of São Sebastião did not respond.
The report also contacted Secom and questioned what kind of action Wajngarten would do in relation to the set of Minha Casa Minha Vida, but received no response.