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Italy’s Housing Cooperatives and the National Recovery and Resilience Plan

Legacoop Abitanti takes a stance in Senate hearing

Italy, 8 March 2021 | Social, Economy

Legacoop Abitanti, audited by the national Senate, underlined the importance of attention paid to social housing and urban regeneration in a strategic recovery. "We have pointed out that non-repayable resources are needed for the most vulnerable groups and that the cooperation of inhabitants must be present in the co-planning and in the governance of the funds,” emphasises the President, Rossana Zaccaria.

In the context of the hearing of the Alliance of Italian Cooperatives in the Housing Sector, with the 8th Commission on Public Work and Communications of the Senate, the association expressed an overall positive evaluation of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) which, after many years of absence of a structural housing policy, defines a new agenda on Social Infrastructures, foreseen in the scope of mission 5 - Inclusion and Cohesion - a budget of 3.5 billion for Urban Regeneration and 2.8 billion for Social Housing. This component aims to support situations of social and economic fragility by intervening with "projects targeting to intercept the main social vulnerabilities in material poverty and housing deprivation, through the strengthening of social services and social housing initiatives".

During the audition, Legacoop Abitanti stressed the importance of non-repayable resources for a rent-controlled housing offer, with a view to blending; the need of a good mix of actors in the governance of the funds, as well as the key role of inhabitant’s cooperatives in the implementation and co-planning process. Rossana Zaccaria also conveyed the message of the need of equalisation of residents' cooperatives to public housing schemes regarding the extension and use of the so-called 110% superbonus, a tax break for energy performance measures introduced by the Italian government.

In this context, two projects with the aim of contributing to the achievement of the objectives of the PNRR have been developed by the Alliance. The first project intends to redevelop the private housing stock through social housing and the regeneration of the social and urban fabric; while the second project intends to promote and implement new forms of dynamic urban welfare with a high social impact through three components: the increase in social housing in connection with innovative forms of assistance and care services and the dissemination of cultural and creative hubs, with the intent of a regeneration that does not only encompass the redevelopment of the built heritage but also the regeneration of its communities. Legacoop Abitanti believes co-planning between public administration and the third sector with an incremental role of inhabitant’s cooperatives is vital for the success of the PNRR, as it has proven to be the ideal "tool" for providing homes to the "gray band" (groups neither able to qualify for public housing nor having enough resources to access the free market). The modality of public-private partnerships, blending of public resources and cooperative co-financing could be replicated using Next Generation EU resources for new projects through similar mechanisms.

Read the full article by Legacoop Abitanti, President Rossana Zaccaria on the contents of the hearing here:

Tune in and watch the live recording here: (from minute 45 onwards)

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