By Brennan Stark, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – A reported 13,000 families throughout the Rocinha and Vidigal favelas will receive legal titles to their property in 2012.  An estimated one-third of all families in Rocinha and one-half of those living in Vidigal will have their properties regularized by the state Department of Housing.

Rocinha and Vidigal property Legalized, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
Thousands of families throughout Rocinha will now receive much sought-after titles to their homes, photo by chensiyuan/Wikimedia Creative Commons License.

The announcement will provide relief to the thousands living in the favela communities who had faced prior eviction from or destruction their homes. 

Over the years, many favela residents had purchased houses and land in subdivisions offered by landowning companies, but had received only a vague, promissory contract that did little to prove legal ownership of the property.

Ricardo de Gouvêa Corrêa, executive coordinator of the Bento Rubião Foundation, an NGO working for regularization in the favelas, explained the financial importance of full settlement:

“Studies show that when regularized, a property can be valued up to seven times, after a few years.  And the property can now be offered as collateral for loans, which facilitates the achievement of improvements in this property.” he said.

Under the new system, official property documents will be bestowed to any resident that can prove a minimum five-year tenure.

Residents are required to first demarcate their area, so that all neighbors and original owners may be identified.  The property documentation is then notarized and, if no legal conflicts persist, the legal title is then granted.

Read more (in Portuguese).

* The Rio Times Daily Update is a new feature we are offering to help keep you up-to-date with major news as it happens.


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