BRAZIL: Apartment in Rio

One of Rio's flashiest suburbs—Copacabana—has 16,000 empty apartments, and through the city there are thousands of others. But there is also a housing shortage.

The reason for this strange state of affairs is that the empty Copacabana apartments, like many others in the great modern buildings that line Rio's beaches and stalk its hillsides (TIME, Feb. 25, 1946), are owned by speculators who have no intention of becoming landlords. Tax laws are on the side of the speculator. The only real-estate tax an owner pays is 10% on rental value, established after an...

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