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Italy | Preventing a darker future

Legacoop Abitanti proposed exceptional preventative measures to support low income families paying their rent

Rome, 25 March 2020 | Covid-19

The Italian Cooperative Housing sector proposed exceptional preventative measures to support low income families paying their rent. In this difficult moment Legacoop Abitanti, one of the Italian Associations of Housing Cooperatives, expressed solidarity towards the most affected people and gratitude to those offering their commitment, including the Social Cooperation sector that has been close to the most vulnerable also during this state of emergency.

The Inhabitants Cooperation is playing its role at the service of the members, keeping some essential services and activating new forms of community resilience, which represents a distinctive sign of our history. #IoRestoaCasa (#WeStayAtHome) truly underlines the HOME question, and the need to re-think it. From an economic point of view, Legacoop Abitanti believes that the impact of the COVID-19 crisis will lead to further difficulties for vulnerable families to pay the rent, causing a very negative social effect in the medium term.

Legacoop Abitanti, through its President Rossana Zaccaria, expresses a positive evaluation about the effort of the Italian Decree “Cura Italia”, in order to face the public health emergency and to preserve both families' and workers’ safety. However, concerning the Home question, the Decree provided measures referring exclusively to the mortgages (Art. 54) and the suspension of evictions until 30 June 2020 (Art 103, Paragraph 6).

Legacoop Abitanti, together with the Alliance of Italian Cooperatives – Housing sector, proposes exceptional measures to support low-income tenants who will struggle in paying rents. Concretely, with an amendment to Art. 54 at the “Cura Italia” decree, they propose an increase of 50 million Euros of the existing “Fondo per morosità incolpevole” (Fund for tenants arrears - due to loss of income ) for year 2020: this can be done with a specific additional spending chapter, with an extension of the pool of the beneficiaries, including families renting both social housing and cooperative undivided property dwellings, since these perform a welfare function allowing the access to the renting market. This provision shall be a preventative measure, using the same operating procedures as for the management of the Fund, therefore with the immediate disbursement of the contribution directly to the landlords in order to avoid eviction procedures - a condition provided by the current mechanisms - for a maximum period of 6 months and covering 70% of the total amount of the rent and related costs. Legacoop truly believes that now the containment of the increase of social fragility is necessary, maintaining access to housing as an essential hub of welfare and community resilience.

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