Housing and essential public services

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According to Associazione 21 Luglio (2018), 26,000 Roma in Italy live in housing emergency situations. The most important housing challenges, such as fighting segregation in Roma municipal camps and preventing forced evictions, were insufficiently addressed. It must be emphasized that a great number of Roma families live in conditions of social need, in „nomad camps”, located on the extreme outskirts of the towns. These camps were built up over the last decade by local administrations and are the outcome of reiterated political choices with respect to public housing. Even if the National Strategy stresses the importance of overcoming the „nomad camps” by considering a broader spectrum of housing solutions, many local authorities continue to fund housing solutions and plans on an emergency and ethnic-based basis. According to Associazione 21 Luglio (2017), in the first four years after the approval of the NRIS, local authorities spent 31,860,000 EUR for promoting this type of housing solutions concerning almost 4,800 people. There are over 9,600 Roma, mostly coming from Romania, that live in informal settlements. Evictions continue to take place without providing other housing solutions to the families that are evicted and end up homeless. 55 per cent of the children evicted had serious repercussions on their psychological health and on their educational path. It is necessary to prevent evictions by ensuring that any evictions take place in full respect of fundamental human rights, and by providing adequate alternative housing to evicted families to avoid homelessness and aggravating exclusion. There are three main issues affecting housing politics: (1) the difficulties in accessing ordinary social housing procedures which, directly or indirectly, are meant to discriminate against Roma; (2) the ad-hoc housing projects carried out (by public and private institutions) for Roma and Sinti are few and merely intended to face emergencies or special events, they are difficult to access as procedures and deadlines are continuously modified; (3) discrimination based on ethnic origin in the private housing sector (rent, mortgage) as a consequence of widespread antigypsyism. The absence of an effective coordination and monitoring system is a serious responsibility not only at the national but also at the local level. Indeed, there are municipalities like Rome’s that keep on evicting Roma camps disregarding a judgement of the European Court (Camping River camp, Rome, August 2018). A number of local administrations claim their willingness to overcome the issue of „nomad camps” but they seem unable to develop a coherent strategy. In fact, Roma families evicted from a camp (regularly authorised by the City Council), where they have lived on a regular basis, are denied by the City Council itself the award of ranking points needed to access social housing, as compared the eviction cases from a conventional house.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteCivil society monitoring report on implementation of the national Roma integration strategy in Italy. Assessing the progress in four key policy areas of the strategy
Numero di pagine14
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2019


  • National Roma Integration Strategy
  • Rom e sinti
  • Roma and Sinti
  • Strategia nazionale d’Inclusione dei Rom, Sinti e Caminanti
  • housing
  • inserimento abitativo
  • public services
  • servizio pubblico


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