Abstract In the mid-1980s, the state government of Maharashtra, India, introduced a slum redevelopment strategy in its capital city, Mumbai (Bombay). In contrast to traditional housing improvement strategies that focus primarily on legalizing the land tenure of residents, slum redevelopment is a more complex strategy. It involves the demolition of existing slums and the redevelopment of new, higher density, medium-rise apartment blocks, including, entirely cross-subsidized housing for the original slum dwellers. Mumbai's experience, documented through a single case study in this paper, illustrates that contrary to the conventional focus only on private property rights, upgrading policy must be based on a differentiated view of property rights. Furthermore, policy must also consider the property values, the physical attributes of the real property (underlying asset), and the interplay among property rights, property values and physical attributes. Second, the paper demonstrates that under certain conditions, there is a constituency among slum dwellers for complex initiatives, like redevelopment. This suggests that planners should be skeptical about popular, simplistic myths regarding low-income housing preferences. However, slum redevelopment's slow pace also implies that planners need to be cautious in their enthusiasm for redevelopment.