UPDATE 1-Brazil to extend housing program despite budget cuts -official
(Adds details on next phase of program, background)
By Leonardo Goy and Cesar Bianconi
BRASILIA, July 16 (Reuters) - Brazil's government will add another 3 million homes to its "Minha Casa, Minha Vida" low-income housing program while raising the value of homes eligible for subsidies by "at least 10 or 11 percent," Minister of Cities Gilberto Kassab said.
The program's third phase will be launched between August and September, despite recent government efforts to rein in spending this year, Kassab said in a late Wednesday interview in Brasilia.
The program, which offers subsidies that vary by the region in which beneficiaries live and their income levels, will include a new income bracket, Kassab said.
Families in the lowest bracket, with a monthly household income of up to 1,600 reais ($511.18), are eligible to receive subsidies of up to 95 percent of their home's value. The new bracket is designed for families earning between 1,600 and 2,300 reais a month, Kassab said, though he declined to comment on the size of the subsidy those families will get.
The Minha Casa Minha Vida, or My Home My Life, program has lent support to builders of low-income housing such as MRV Engenharia SA and Gafisa SA's Tenda division as economic headwinds weigh on the overall home-building industry.
Shares of Gafisa were up about 1.5 percent in late morning trading in Sao Paulo, while MRV shares gained about 1.2 percent.
($1=3.13 Brazilian reais) (Reporting by Leonardo Goy and Cesar Binaconi; Writing by Asher Levine; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli and Peter Galloway)
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