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Italy: The Social Housing Cooperative Manager

Helping Italian housing cooperatives to make the most out of their unique model

Rome, 18 January 2017 | Published in Social

In Italy, within the Social Housing Cooperative sector, the emerging housing model is strongly characterized by both the centrality of social management and the willing of starting-up collaborative communities. How could Italian housing cooperatives make the most out of their unique character both in terms of management and with regard to access to funding mechanisms?

The specificity of the cooperative management is the ability to horizontally integrate the skills concerning Property, Facility and Community Management in a single point of contact for residents. The basic idea is that a cooperative management can ensure both the starting-up and the maintenance of the community in the long-term period; this plus, beside representing an opportunity for the territory, becomes a guarantee for investors, because on one side the real estate is well maintained and secondly performance targets can be achieved through a strongly reduction of the payment arrears.

For these reasons and in continuity with the initiative promoted by CDP (Cassa Depositi e Prestiti) entitled "SH-LAB Social Housing Laboratory, tools for Social Housing management ", Legacoop Abitanti and FHS (Fondazione Housing Sociale) intend to undertake an in-depth study of the managing activities that aim to define a shared protocol between social housing cooperatives available to any subject wishing to operate in the management of social housing properties and to create the conditions to deliver quality services in those areas where Housing Funds activities are already ongoing and currently not able to offer social housing management services properly structured.

The cooperatives' proposal aims to take a step forward: to promote an offer of social housing management services in areas where such offer is not currently adequately structured and / or operational (Southern regions, Liguria, Emilia - Romagna, Rome, Umbria and others) and, at the same time, to examine all the issues relating to social housing management by defining tasks, responsibilities and procedures.

A Service Level Agreement will be defined that could allow also to smaller SH cooperative companies and to those ones that are located in areas lacking a tradition of SH management to be involved in the FIA system (Investment Fund for Housing). The project aims to:

  • to analyse where various cooperatives stand concerning the different ongoing funds
  • to reach a level of standardized quality, increasing the communication with tenants while reducing the risk margins in profitability
  • to carry a sort of network incubator that involves
  • all our cooperatives companies that need to be assisted in the management activities
  • by promoting partnerships and forms of mentoring with more structured companies.


The Lab will unfold in 4 Workshops that will take place in from February to April in Milan, Bologna, Florence and Rome, leading to a final event for the presentation of the Social Housing Management model to both institutional and financial stakeholders.