By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The land regularization program of the Government of Rio de Janeiro will be expanded within Rio de Janeiro state. The city of Petrópolis, in the Região Serrana (Mountain Region), will serve as an example of Nossa Terra (Our Land) project, conducted by the Institute of Land and Cartography (ITERJ), Housing Department.
According to the authorities, in Petrópolis 2,563 families in eleven communities will benefit in the first stage. Currently across the state, 117,000 families in 900 communities are in the program and are awaiting the processing of property titles.
“Approximately twenty percent of the 96,000 households in Petrópolis, are from families who did not have access to formal housing,” said the Housing Secretary, Bernardo Rossi.
Land regularization in Petrópolis reaches, since 2009 with the launch of the program, the largest number of properties with regularization being processed. In the communities of Madame Machado, Vista Alegre, Unidos Venceremos, 24 de Maio and Alemão, the ITERJ has delivered 1,876 titles. With the program going on simultaneously in over eleven communities, 4,439 families have been helped.
Now the land regularization process will be carried out in Contorno (eighty families), São Francisco de Assis (350), Santa Luzia/Mata Cavalo (500), Bonfim Urbano (800), Morro do Gavião (100), Bairro da Glória (450), Sitio do Pica Pau (83), Bonfim Rural (85), Jacob (43), Caxambu rural (70) and Brejal (100). Apart from the initial meeting with the technical ITERJ, each location will have meetings for detailing the whole process.
“The technical criteria are strict and meticulous. To be regularized, real estate property needs to be out of any danger area and be safe buildings,” said Mayume Sone, president of ITERJ.
It was in March 2013 that heavy rains most recently caused major flooding and landslides in Petropólis, when the death toll reached 28. The city in the Região Serrana, in the mountains north of Rio de Janeiro is vulnerable to such tragedies, and the entire region was devastated by Brazil’s worst ever natural disaster in January 2011, when landslides killed more than 900 people.