By Rosane Rodrigues, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Authorities announced that a total of 719 residents were granted the property right of their homes in Comunidade Camarão and Nova Camarão favela communities. The neighborhoods are in Santa Cruz in Zona Oeste (West Zone), some 60 km from Centro Rio, and the transfer is part of a legalization of property program which authorities reported last December to cover 23 percent of the homes in Rio’s favelas.
For many in this community the process of regulation took more than 34 years. Since 2007, State Department of Housing and ITERJ have been granting more than 25,000 regularization in favelas and underdeveloped urban areas in Rio de Janeiro.
Cléia Tinoco is a housewife who lives there has fulfilled a dream. After almost twenty years, she received a home ownership document from Institute of Land and Cartography of the State of Rio or ITERJ. “This title will change my life. Now, the house is mine and nobody can take it from me because I have legal protection,” said Tinoco.
According to ITERJ, the current budget for regularization is R$60 million. In 2007, it was just R$2 million. “The [title transfer of] property to who occupy an area, a land, for 10 or 15 years. This is the best public policy that State Government could make,” affirmed Governor Luiz Fernando Pezão.
Due to Mayumi Sone, president of ITERJ, the ownership document means security for the families. “They will have the title for 99 years and this period can be postponed for more 99 years. To begin the regularization process, the local leaders ask us and we have also been looking for regions where the regulation is needed,” added Sone.
By way of illustration, Angela de Oliveira Costa, a wheelchair user, considers the document a relief. She said, “ I have been waiting for fifteen years. I am happy and pleased. Now, I have a house and I can renovate it. It is a dream that came true.”
A title of property means legal certainty for the place and the residents. The ITERJ´s property policy has been happening in more than 900 low-income communities in Rio de Janeiro. In Jacarepaguá, also in Zona Oeste, the region has forecast about four thousand titles to be delivered, and more than half are ready according to reports.
The favelas are Arroio Pavuna, São Amarante, Bandeirantes, Novo Rio, Muzema, Hospital Colônia Curupaiti, Mont Serrat, Santa Clara, Alto Bela Vista, André Rocha, Jardim do Amanhã, Fontela. At the beginning of July, more titles will be offered.
Authorities in late December reported that 103,000, or 23 percent, of the homes are in the process of regularization, which will take years to complete. There are several government bodies that originally owned the land, as well as some privately owned property. To appropriately manage the legal transition of ownership, residents are required to attain different types of documents based on the original owners.
According to the president of the Institute of Architects of Brazil (IAB-RJ), Pedro da Luz Moreira, the title deed of the property allows residents to have an address recognized by the courts and obtain credit from banks, as well as having a well recognized and valued property asset in the market. Moreira, however, draws attention to the need for the public to create mechanisms to protect the residents of speculation power.