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By Helen Trouten Torres, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - Over forty of Rio’s favelas are to lose their ‘unofficial’ status and be reclassified as official municipal ‘urban communities’ under new city hall minimum quality standards. The plans were announced following studies by the city’s Department of Housing (SMH) and the Institute of Pereira Passos (IPP). The number of favelas in Rio remains a debate though, the federal government department (AFC) reports there are 1,020 favelas, while the city of Rio’s Department of Housing lists 582, as part of the current public policy program ‘Morar Carioca . . .

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