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Italy’s occupation movement resembles the struggle against large estates

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Commentary. It is reductive to talk about a ‘housing crisis.’ What we have is a ‘housing problem’ — a structural issue, with powerful implications regarding income, development, the environment, urban growth and urban quality, and social relations.

written by Gaetano Lamanna

Topic Italy

Also filed under commentary

May 21, 2019

In the heart of Rome, people are experimenting with a new conception of what it means to inhabit a place, and to provide housing and home care services. A co-working space has been set up, in an open relationship with the residents of the neighborhood. What exactly is “illegal” about any of this? Are we supposed to choose urban decay over cultural vitality?

Cardinal Konrad Krajewski’s actions in Via S. Croce in Gerusalemme, where he personally reconnected the electricity supply to the former INPDAP building, have reopened the debate about homelessness and about the urgent need for welfare policies for social housing, and for taking concrete actions for social and cultural integration. The categories of “being illegal” versus “following the rules,” with which the Salvinian right and some in the media are trying to dismiss the whole argument, are not useful for addressing the issue, and, most importantly, fail to respond to the tragedy and suffering of those who don’t have a roof over their heads. Nor do they do any........

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