HousingLab, Italy

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HousingLab, Italy

Policies and regulations Governance Data and monitoring Evaluation and impact Participatory processes
Promotion and production Self-management Self-promotion Cooperatives
Ownership and tenure Shared ownership

Main objectives of the project

HousingLab is a research, experimentation and development laboratory for collaborative and sustainable housing. It was born as a project of the Design and Innovation for Sustainability Unit of the Politecnico di Milano but it wants to be a laboratory that operates in and for society. It is a research lab but also a place that offers consulting services and coaching for public administrations, private builders and mostly for inhabitants and cooperatives. As an association, its objective is to foster good practices in the field of participatory and cooperative housing.

Date

  • 2014: Implementation

Stakeholders

  • HousingLab

Location

Country/Region: Italy

Description

HousingLab is an association dedicated to promoting best practices, sharing expertise, and fostering participatory experimentation in the field of social and collaborative housing. HousingLab focuses on various areas, including new housing models for diverse family structures, collaborative services for living, urban communities, public and private spaces, regeneration of existing housing contexts, and the social, environmental, and economic sustainability of both housing and relationships.

To achieve these goals, the Association plans to undertake the following non-profit activities:

a) Promote and organize cultural activities such as conferences, fairs, exhibitions, seminars, competitions, events, and visits related to social and collaborative housing.

b) Promote, organize, and provide training activities, including theoretical and practical courses, and workshops, even for non-members, in schools of all levels and universities.

c) Create a network of national and international stakeholders to share and exchange ideas and experiences on relevant topics. Through constructive dialogue, they aim to develop and disseminate best practices.

d) Publish and distribute articles, books, publications, and videos in both digital and print formats on the topic of social and collaborative housing.

One of its most important tools is the Map of Co-housings in Italy.This map geolocates various cohousing projects across the country, each accompanied by an informational sheet. The goal of the map is to provide an overview of the spread of cohousing in Italy. It aims to introduce this innovative way of living to newcomers and to connect existing projects. Moreover, they have the co-housing lab, where they help individuals who are willing to start their cohousing cooperative. Thanks to it, they have developed a toolkit to help future partners to face their decisions.

Casa di Zia Gessy

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Casa di Zia Gessy

Mismatches Vulnerable groups
Policies and regulations Local policies Public-private initiatives
Promotion and production Public-private partnerships
Ownership and tenure Rental and temporary tenure

Main objectives of the project

A Casa di Zia Gessy (Aunt Gessy’s Home) provides temporary social housing for up to 18 months, aiming to build support networks and promote resident independence. This public housing initiative fosters intergenerational solidarity and communal living. It helps residents achieve permanent autonomy while remaining a lasting support resource. The residents include elderly individuals, single mothers, young people, and "foster families" who guide the community. An educational team ensures project success through goal monitoring and community integration.

Date

  • 2008: Construction

Stakeholders

  • Promotor: Cooperativa sociale Un sogno per tutti
  • Promotor: Cooperativa sociale E.T
  • Constructor: L’Associazione Giovanile Salesiana per il Territorio

Location

Continent: Europe
Country/Region: Italy, Turin

Description

A Casa di Zia Gessy (Aunt Gessy’s Home) is a project offering temporary social housing solutions for a maximum of 18 months. The aim is to create support networks and encourage residents' ability to live independently. The condominium, a public housing structure, seeks to innovatively address the housing needs of its residents, establishing itself as a replicable model of communal living. It aims to address housing distress and foster relationships of proximity and neighborhood, promoting intergenerational solidarity through mutual support and participation in social activities.

The ultimate goal of the Condominium is to help residents achieve permanent autonomy. It also aims to establish itself as a lasting resource of solidarity networks, even after residents have moved on. The Condominium should remain a reliable point of reference, a source of support, and a model of positive communal living for all former residents, fostering a spirit of permanent mutual aid.

The residents of the Condominium include:

- Elderly individuals, living alone or as couples, who are permanent residents.
- Typically, units are composed of single mothers with minor children, single women, and young people aged 16 to 32 who have come from residential structures or foster care. This serves as an intermediate housing phase to help them overcome temporary vulnerabilities and achieve full independence.
- Families or single individuals who act as "foster families," serving as points of reference for the entire condominium.

The Condominium's success relies heavily on its educational team, which handles both the educational and managerial aspects of the project. Their working methodology includes constant monitoring of goals and ongoing adjustments to meet annually planned objectives. The team comprises educators and individuals tasked with facilitating communication and community development. They integrate into the condominium environment respectfully and without overlapping, maintaining harmony within the existing dynamics.

Social Housing in Elmas, Sardinia

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Social Housing in Elmas, Sardinia

Mismatches Location
Urban Design Liveability
Promotion and production Public promotion

Main objectives of the project

2+1 Officina Architettura has completed an innovative social housing project in Elmas, Sardinia. The building, with its simplified design and economical materials, has a white façade with mustard shutters and uses balconies and brise soleil for solar management. The north-south orientation and access through an inner courtyard promote energy efficiency and social integration, adapting to the local climate and environment.

Date

  • 2010: Construction

Stakeholders

  • Architect: 2+1 Officina Architettura

Location

Continent: Europe
Country/Region: Italy

Description

Sardinia, like many islands, faces significant challenges in housing due to speculative pressures and limited space. For this reason, social housing must be enhanced and fostered, taking into consideration the needs of its people, the climate and the integration of the building in the environment. Addressing these issues, 2+1 Officina Architettura recently completed a housing project in Elmas, a small town in southern Sardinia. The new housing structure, strictly aligned along the street, stands out with its white color, acting as a canvas for the mustard-yellow shutters. These shutters, in two different sizes, create a vibrant play of open and closed spaces. Access to the various housing units is through an inner courtyard, where the more articulated southeast facade features a continuous covered balcony connecting the mesh-covered exterior staircase with different units. The facade's openings and color palette echo the street's appearance.

Certain elements, such as the 1.5-meter cantilevering balcony and the exterior staircases, are uniquely shaped to meet program requirements. The designers' expertise strips away redundant layers, emphasizing the core values of these elements. This innovative design by 2+1 challenges a market-driven approach to building practices.

The building's north-south orientation influences the layout of interior spaces, with sleeping areas placed to the north and living areas to the south. Summer solar radiation is controlled through a walkway balcony and brise soleil screen, optimized to respond to seasonal solar variations. On the north side, full shutter panels provide additional protection from cold winds.

Economic resource optimization is achieved through a simplified building geometry, careful selection of construction materials, and the use of readily available local technologies. Materials like Abet laminate Meg offer high weather resistance and reduced construction costs.

Each housing unit is accessed via an internal courtyard, served by external stairs and walkway balconies. This design enhances social security in the peripheral context of the building's location and promotes cohabitation and social integration.

One Euro Homes, Italy

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One Euro Homes, Italy

Mismatches Vacant housing
Policies and regulations Local policies Governance
Financing Supply subsidies
Promotion and production Transformation and adaptation

Main objectives of the project

The "One Euro" homes initiative in Italy has emerged as a notable strategy to address vacant housing in areas affected by population decline. Municipalities offer these homes for a nominal fee, typically owned by the municipality itself, with winning households required to fulfill renovation obligations within a specified timeframe. This policy aims to revitalize communities, stimulate tourism, and halt depopulation by repurposing abandoned properties. Additionally, some municipalities have adapted the scheme to cater to the needs of vulnerable groups, such as migrants and refugees, emphasizing the policy's flexibility in addressing diverse community needs.

Date

  • 2013: Implementation

Stakeholders

Location

Continent: Europe
Country/Region: Italy

Description

In recent years, one of the most renowned strategies to address vacant housing in Europe has been the "One Euro" homes (‘Case a 1 euro’) initiative in Italy. Several municipalities in areas affected by population decline and abandoned housing implemented this scheme, offering these homes for sale at the nominal fee of one euro. Typically owned by the municipalities themselves, these homes were donated by previous owners to evade property tax liabilities. Under this scheme, winning households must fulfill specific obligations. These include presenting a renovation project within a designated timeframe post-purchase, covering notary fees for registration and transfer, and adhering to a maximum time limit for commencing renovation work after obtaining permits.

This basic scheme has had different strategies depending on the town. Some have used it to renovate its downtown in rural areas and others to invest on the migrant population. The key feature is that is a strategy to ensure renovation of vacant housing units that should be for the most vulnerable groups.

For instance, in Sambuca di Sicilia, municipality-owned buildings were sold via public auction with a €5,000 deposit to ensure renovation and a commitment to complete the work within three years. The aim was to stimulate tourism and entrepreneurship, halting the depopulation process in Italy's interior areas.

Similar schemes were conducted in 2013 and 2019, with obligations akin to those in Sambuca di Sicilia. In 2019, Gangi included the intention for some homes to become tourist accommodation, aiming to generate jobs and households in the town. The guarantee period was extended to five years due to issues with the previous three-year deadline. Interestingly, the initiative influenced the sale of other vacant homes not part of the scheme, as visitors initially drawn by the one euro homes decided to invest in the area. These homes remained affordable, priced between €5,000-€20,000, reflecting the distressed local housing market.

Both towns experienced oversubscription, allowing authorities to select serious buyers with concrete renovation plans, ultimately benefiting the towns by reducing the stock of abandoned residences.

A similar initiative aimed to revitalize declining towns while accommodating arriving migrants and refugees, exemplified by Riace in Calabria. Initially welcoming 200 Kurds in 1988 to vacant houses due to emigration, Riace saw gradual economic recovery and house renovations, with "solidarity tourism" emerging. However, a change in political direction led to a cessation of funding, resulting in families leaving the town, highlighting the need for ongoing management and public support for such repopulation programs, particularly those reliant on training and job creation initiatives.

Porto 15 - Cohousing for young people

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Porto 15 - Cohousing for young people

Mismatches Location Services Vacant housing
Promotion and production Public promotion Self-management Cooperatives Site&services
Ownership and tenure Rental and temporary tenure Protection of social housing

Main objectives of the project

Porto 15 stands as a pioneering example of collaborative residence for individuals under 35, marking one of Italy's earliest ventures into cohousing with full public support. This innovative project entails the rehabilitation and subsequent leasing of 18 units within a building owned by ASP - City of Bologna, situated in the heart of the historic city center. Its proximity to the vibrant cultural hub known as Manifattura delle Arti, home to the Museum of Modern Art and the Film Library, further enhances its appeal. The residence offers common spaces for inhabitants to utilize, fostering a sense of community and encouraging active participation in communal life. Residents are invited to engage in this novel form of collaborative living, aiming to create a dynamic and inclusive environment within their shared space.

Date

  • 2017: Construction

Stakeholders

  • Porto15 APS
  • Promotor: ASP - Public Company for Services of the City of Bologna
  • Promotor: ACER-Bologna
  • City of Bologna
  • Constructor: Società Cooperativa SuMisura

Location

Continent: Europe
Country/Region: Bologna, Italy

Description

The roots of the Italian cooperative movement date back to the mid-nineteenth century, with Bologna serving as a hub for numerous such initiatives. In 1884, workers from a tobacco company in Bologna formed one of the earliest housing cooperatives, marking a significant milestone in community organization. While the fascist era interrupted this model, the post-war period witnessed a resurgence of cooperative endeavors.

Bologna's housing landscape has recently been overshadowed by a pressing crisis, exacerbated by factors like soaring rental costs, which spiked by nearly ten percent the previous year. The city's mayor has acknowledged the urgency of the situation, attributing it partly to the lingering effects of economic downturns and phenomena like Airbnb, which diminish the availability of long-term rental properties. In response, the city has undertaken measures such as signing the Evictions Protocol to support families facing eviction due to financial hardships.

Despite these efforts, young people continue to struggle to secure affordable housing. Recognizing the potential of cooperative models, Porto 15 emerged as a pioneering venture. As the first public housing initiative in Italy exclusively for individuals under 35, Porto 15 represents a significant social innovation, particularly in a country where around 67% of this demographic still resides with their parents.

Located in the historic city center, the building is structured around 5 floors of residence in the center of Bologna, 18 apartments for rent to live in, 49 potential inhabitants, 5 common spaces for meetings, parties, activities, workshops… Access to Porto 15 involved self-nomination and a selection process based on compatibility with available accommodations. Concurrently with residency, the inaugural group of cohabitants established Porto 15 APS, a social promotion association aimed at supporting collaborative living and engaging in community activities at local and broader levels. The association is the one responsible of the cooperative ethos of the project.

A defining feature of Porto 15's model is residents' active participation and decision-making, exemplified by the creation of a "charter of values" outlining mutual expectations and responsibilities. This collaborative approach not only benefits residents but also enriches the broader community through organized activities and contributions, such as childcare support systems and ecological initiatives.

Moreover, Porto 15's location in the historic center serves as a bulwark against the encroachment of touristification, safeguarding the area's vibrancy and livability for residents. In fact, the agreement among residents include a commitment to give something back to the local community, by organizing activities. For example, tenants might set up a homework club, or do something ecological such as caring for public gardens. This innovative housing project is part of Bologna's broader efforts to redefine cooperative housing, culminating in the city's distinction as the first in Italy to establish a formal definition of cooperative housing and actively encourage private and citizen-led initiatives to repurpose unused city-owned buildings for similar purposes.

Palazzo del Carbone - Student Housing

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Palazzo del Carbone - Student Housing

Mismatches
Urban Design Liveability Public-private initiative
Promotion and production Public-private partnerships
Ownership and tenure Public-private partnerships

Main objectives of the project

The Palazzo del Carbone stands as a testament to the revitalization efforts undertaken in Reggio Emilia's historical center, providing much-needed housing for the burgeoning student population attending the local university. This initiative, valued at 5 million Euros, was brought to fruition through a collaborative public-private partnership involving the municipality, Institute Immobiliare Italiano del Nord, the University, and ACER Reggio Emilia, the local public housing management entity.

Date

  • 2014: Construction

Stakeholders

  • Promotor: ACER Reggio Emilia
  • Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia
  • Insitute Immobiliare Italiano del Nord

Location

Continent: Europe
Country/Region: Italy, Reggio nell'Emilia

Description

The Palazzo del Carbone, a historic edifice dating back to the 1500s-1600s, stands prominently in the heart of Reggio Emilia, situated within the Emilia-Romagna region of Northeastern Italy. Alongside notable landmarks such as Palazzo Busetti and Musei Civici, it has undergone extensive restoration and renovation as part of a city-funded project orchestrated by the Reggio Emilia town hall. While meticulously preserving its outward historical charm, the building has been repurposed to accommodate student living spaces and commercial units. This transformation has yielded 20 fully equipped apartments, boasting a total of 56 sleeping accommodations. Ranging from 50 to 120 square meters in size, the apartments offer rental rates starting as low as 160 Euros per bedroom or 320 Euros per unit, inclusive of common charges, elevator access, and wireless internet connectivity. Commencing in 2014 and concluding in 2016, this investment initiative has provided affordable, high-quality housing options for 450 students enrolled in the food innovation program and music school, hailing from 11 different countries.
One of the major innovations of the complex is to place a youth housing access project in the very heart of the city.

Ospitalità Solidale

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Ospitalità Solidale

Mismatches Price Services New family structures
Promotion and production Public-private partnerships Cooperatives
Ownership and tenure Rental and temporary tenure

Main objectives of the project

In 2014, the DAR=CASA cooperative, in collaboration with the Municipality of Milan, Comunità progetto cooperative, and the association ARCI Milano, initiated the 'Ospitalità Solidale' project aimed at supporting young individuals aged 18-30 who are either studying or engaged in temporary employment.

Date

  • 2014: Construction

Stakeholders

  • Promotor: DAR=CASA
  • Constructor: Municipality of Milan
  • Comunita progetto cooperative
  • Association ARCI Milano

Location

Continent: Europe
Country/Region: Italy, Milan

Description

Between 2009 and 2014, Milan experienced a notable surge in its young population. University data corroborates this trend, revealing that out of a total of 200,000 students, 50,000 hail from regions beyond Milan. Despite this influx, the city's five largest universities can only accommodate one student from outside the region for every 17 who arrive. The elevated cost of living in Milan, surpassing the national average, poses a significant hurdle for young individuals relocating to the city. This obstacle extends beyond students to encompass young professionals who must contend with the escalating expenses of the private rental market.

The "Ospitalità Solidale" project, initiated by the Municipality of Milan and executed by DAR=CASA Società Cooperativa in collaboration with Comunità Progetto and Arci Milano, focuses on the revitalization of residential units in two suburban social housing neighborhoods in Milan. Its aim is to tackle the emergency in housing of young students and temporary workers in Milan. Thus, the primary objective of this initiative is to cater to the housing needs of young individuals seeking independence while fostering collaborative community lifestyles.

Under this project, 24 young people aged 18 to 30, comprising students or those in precarious employment, are accommodated in renovated and furnished studio apartments owned by the city. Funding from the Department of Youth facilitates the renovation and furnishing process. In exchange for subsidized housing at €380 per month, inclusive of expenses, participants commit to contributing a minimum of 10 hours per month towards solidarity activities within the neighborhood. These activities, tailored to address the needs of various demographics, encompass both individual and group engagements.

Eligibility criteria for project participation include being aged between 18 and 30, holding Italian citizenship or citizenship of a European Union member state, or possessing a valid residence permit for another state. Participants must not own or have legal rights to suitable housing within the Lombardy region, and they should be either students, researchers, student-workers, job-seekers, or employed individuals with a net monthly income not exceeding €1,500 as per the latest tax return.

Beyond the individual studio spaces, residents also benefit from access to two communal areas. These spaces, utilized for various activities, predominantly serve to foster social cohesion and mutual aid. Activities range from combating elderly loneliness to providing play/work spaces for children, organizing shared meals, cineforums, parties, and neighborhood care initiatives.

The project commenced its first allocations in November 2014 through a public notice, with a total of 78 young individuals having participated to date. Integrated into the QuBì program in both areas, the Solidarity Hospitality project serves as a hub for fostering cohesion and promoting mutual support among families with minors facing poverty.

Cenni di cambiamento

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Cenni di cambiamento

Mismatches Price Functional adequacy Services Diversity New family structures
Policies and regulations Public-private initiatives
Financing
Urban Design Services and infrastructure Environments Quality Public-private initiative
Promotion and production Self-management Self-promotion Cooperatives
Ownership and tenure Rental and temporary tenure

Main objectives of the project

Cenni di Cambiamento stands as a notable social housing development in Milan, distinguished as Europe's larges residential architecture project featuring a self-supporting wooden structure. This innovative housing complex embodies a vibrant community ethos, incorporating self-management initiatives, a variety of housing unit types, and pioneering energy-efficient buildings.

Date

  • 2017: Ganador
  • 2013: Construction
  • 2009: En proceso

Stakeholders

  • Architect: Studio Rossi Prodi
  • Promotor: Fundazione Housing Sociale
  • Redo

Location

Continent: Europe
Country/Region: Italy, Milan

Description

In 2009, the FIL1 Fund secured three areas owned by the municipality of Milan for the development of experimental residential buildings for rent, including the site on via Cenni. This international competition aimed to explore architectural excellence, rethink residential construction forms, and introduce innovation and social elements. Among over 140 submissions, Studio Rossi Prodi Associati's project was selected by the jury. The construction was made in 2013.

The Cenni di Cambiamento complex, featuring four 9-storey towers, represents one of Europe's pioneering residential projects constructed with wooden load-bearing structures. Recognized for its energy efficiency, the groundbreaking structure received the Legambiente award in January 2014 for its environmentally friendly innovation. Additionally, it was honored at the Gyproc Italia Trophy in Saint Gobain in 2014 and nominated for the Mies Van der Rohe Award in 2015. Despite the extensive use of wood, the visible finishes both internally and externally resemble those of conventional buildings, owing to the advantages of the X-Lam construction technology.

Central to Cenni di Cambiamento is the active involvement of residents in organizing neighborhood activities and managing communal spaces. The Fondazione Housing Sociale spearheaded the community engagement process, culminating in the establishment of the Officina Gabetti 15 (OG15) association in 2015. This association aims to foster various activities and community gatherings, including solidarity purchasing groups, creative workshops, sports, recreational, educational, and cultural events for members and the wider community.

Located on the ground floor, Cenni di Cambiamento hosts a plethora of amenities, including a cafeteria, physiopilates center, diner, art therapy space, multifunctional areas for art, music, and theater, a neuropsychiatry clinic, a socio-educational center for individuals with disabilities, a day center for minors in challenging situations, a playroom, a music school, and a coworking space. Moreover, it facilitates neighborhood trading activities to support small entrepreneurs, artisans, and traders, fostering collaborative business development in a quality and affordable space.

A significant portion of cultural activities also takes place at Cascina Torrette di Trenno (via Giuseppe Gabetti 15), an old building integrated within the complex. Acting as an urban cultural hub, it hosts various events and activities such as concerts, cinema screenings, festivals, and children's programs throughout the year.

Furthermore, Cenni di Cambiamento offers a diverse range of housing typologies, including foyers managed by a cooperative. This residence model, widespread at an international and European level, provides young people with temporary shared housing solutions at sustainable costs. The foyer project, developed by the Social Housing Foundation and managed by DAR=casa, accommodates 27 young individuals aged 18 to 30, offering not just cohabitation but also guidance towards personal and professional autonomy through orientation services and training opportunities.

Cenni di Cambiamento is a project promoted by the Lombardy Real Estate Fund managed by Redo, a benefit company dedicated to creating quality and economically sustainable living spaces. Guided by principles of social responsibility, environmental sustainability, inclusion, and functionality, Redo's interventions range from affordable housing projects to urban regeneration initiatives. The Social Housing Foundation serves as the social technical advisor, overseeing the structuring phase and collaborative placemaking of the project.

To be a tenant, income requirements are established, following the rules for social housing in Milan. Moreover, one has to be resident in the city or its surroundings.

Foyer di cenni - Cohousing for young people

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Foyer di cenni - Cohousing for young people

Mismatches Price Vulnerable groups
Promotion and production Self-management
Ownership and tenure Rental and temporary tenure

Main objectives of the project

"Foyer di Cenni" is a co-housing initiative aimed at providing affordable accommodation and fostering collaborative living among young individuals such as students or temporary workers. Situated within the innovative social housing complex known as Cenni di Cambiamento, which boasts the largest employment of wooden frames for housing in Europe and achieves A energy efficiency ratings, the project comprises five spacious apartments accommodating a total of 27 beds. These flats were constructed in 2013 by the Real Estate Fund "InvestiRe" and are currently administered by a cooperative.

Date

  • 2017: Ganador
  • 2013: Construction

Stakeholders

  • DAR Cooperative
  • InvestiRe

Location

Continent: Europe
Country/Region: Italy, Milan

Description

Between 2009 and 2014, Milan experienced a notable surge in its young population, evident from data provided by universities indicating that out of 200,000 total residents, 50,000 were students originating from outside the region. Despite this influx, only one out of every 17 students from beyond the region found accommodation in the city's five largest universities. Milan's higher-than-average cost of living poses a significant hurdle for both students and young workers, compelling them to rely on an increasingly expensive private rental market.

The Foyer di Cenni project, initially promoted by the DAR Cesare Scarponi Onlus Foundation and subsequently acquired by the DAR Cooperative in late 2017, addresses these challenges. Foyers, a widely adopted residential model internationally and in Europe, offer young individuals a temporary shared housing solution at an affordable cost. Foyer di Cenni caters to twenty-seven individuals aged 18 to 30, providing them with an immersive training and co-housing experience. Situated at 15 Gabetti St. within the Cenni di Cambiamento social housing complex, each Foyer house accommodates 5 or 7 residents and features communal spaces such as kitchen, living room, and two bathrooms. Residents benefit from numerous shared amenities within the complex and engage in various social activities fostering communication and collaboration.

Recognizing the prevalence of job insecurity and geographic mobility among young people, Foyer di Cenni offers temporary housing solutions. Residents are invited to enter into a "social contract," entailing a monthly fee, typically less than €350, based on the chosen room type.

DAR, embracing values of sharing, exchange, and reciprocity, views cohabitation and communal management of spaces as opportunities for social innovation. The Foyer di Cenni project aligns with Milano 2035, a coalition aiming to create youth-friendly cities conducive to collaborative living, fostering community engagement and neighborhood interaction.

Milano 2035 –The Youth Housing Coalition In Milano

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Milano 2035 –The Youth Housing Coalition In Milano

Mismatches Price
Promotion and production Public promotion

Main objectives of the project

In a global city as Milan, young people struggle to find a housing option that suits them. Yet, a city, to thrive, needs to retain young professionals and students. For this reason, Milano 2035 was born. Consisting of a network of institution, private entities and foundations, Milano 2035 offers alternative housing options (social housing, cohousing, intergenerational housing…) to young people in the Italian city, building a coalition and an innovative governance scheme to guarantee the right to the city.

Date

Stakeholders

  • Milan City Hall
  • Cariplo Foundation

Location

Continent: Europe
Country/Region: Italy, Milan

Description

The Milanese metropolitan area offers abundant work and training opportunities, but these advantages are counterbalanced by an insufficient and exclusionary housing system, especially in terms of affordable options. As young individuals embark on their careers, they often find themselves relying on the private rental sector due to its flexibility and their limited financial resources. Unfortunately, social rent options are scarce for young people in Italy, leading them to face high rental prices, particularly in major cities like Milan where rents can soar to around 750 euros for a room in a shared household, despite relatively modest salaries. This disparity in housing affordability often means that their prospects are heavily influenced by the level of financial support they receive from their families.

Recognizing this challenge, "Milano 2035 – The Youth Housing Coalition" was established to address the housing needs of young people in the Milanese metropolitan area. This coalition, comprising 30 public and private entities such as associations, foundations, cooperatives, businesses, and local institutions, operates under the umbrella of the Cariplo Foundation's Welfare in Action program and receives sponsorship from the Lombardy Region and the Municipality of Milan. It encompasses 22 housing projects, ranging from individual residences or buildings to dispersed arrangements, providing a total of 300 housing units. These projects encompass various models including youth cohousing, residences accommodating both young people and those with specific needs, intergenerational shared housing, and apartments within public housing.

In addition to housing provision, Milano 2035 offers additional services such as a "repair café" for refurbishing furniture and household appliances, support for volunteering and active citizenship, and guidance services for both prospective landlords and young tenants. By fostering collaboration and synergy among existing youth residences, supporting practitioners in developing new projects, and facilitating spaces for idea exchange between young people, practitioners, and institutions, the coalition aims to amplify the impact of individual initiatives and advocate for youth housing issues on the political agenda.

The creation of this coalition aims to consolidate isolated projects, share best practices, and establish a critical mass to advocate for youth housing needs. By nurturing this extensive network, stakeholders feel empowered and gain access to vital resources. For young people, this translates into increased availability of affordable housing, reduced living costs (e.g., through furniture reuse), and enhanced relationships and community engagement opportunities.