Maria Eliza Jardim Barbosa

Ashoka Fellow
Illustration of a person's face depicting a fellow
Fellow since 1993
National Association of Intranquil Tenants
This description of Maria Eliza Jardim Barbosa's work was prepared when Maria Eliza Jardim Barbosa was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1993 .


Maria Elisa is building a movement of "Intranquil Tenants" to attack Brazil's staggering urban housing problems and inequity.

The New Idea

Maria Elisa's National Association of Intranquil Tenants is a non-profit organization that seeks to provide Brazilian citizens with housing stability. It seeks to stimulate the development of a national housing policy that will take into account the realities of all individuals that have no property, consider housing subsidies, and introduce to Brazil the French idea of social leasing. Government and business join together to build low income housing. Later this is paid off by the tenants, an arrangement formalized through a long-term leasing contract. (This concept has already been put into practice in Northern Europe and Japan.) To succeed, Maria Elisa's organization seeks to inform the public of the country's housing problems, establish a committed network of organizations and individuals that will press effectively for the establishment of a sensible national housing policy, for short and mid-term solutions to specific housing needs, and to implement a Brazilian experiment with social leasing.Her "Intranquil Tenants" is already beginning to be recognized as a reference for housing issues. The government now often looks to it to represent the public on housing committees.