Belo Horizonte is the largest city in Minas Gerais with a population of 5.4 million. Belo Horizonte has been the setting for social policy changes, such as the regularization of its favela community instead of expulsion. This article discusses the land regularization of favelas in Belo Horizonte and the ‘broad repercussions’ that take place. Since the 1980s Belo Horizonte has hosted the PRO-FAVELA-Program Municipal de Regularizacao de Favelas. The legislation associated with the PRO-FAVELA- program is a progressive step towards recognizing the property rights of favela dwellers. According to SMP in 1993 there was an estimated 600,000 people living in Belo Horizontes Favelas. The pro favela policies show a distinct change in the way favelas have been viewed and are the result of favela group movements. After the 1988 constitution was implemented there was more legislation about the expropriation of land, and adverse possession. The Pro-Favela laws specifically in Bel Horizonte recognized the creation of a special sector (SE-4), and then was eventually included in municipal zoning. The Pro-Favela legislation recognized rights to land tenure along with accentuating the constitutional decision of recognizing property as a social function.
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