Reggio Emilia – Our response to Renzi’s Housing Act

On 17th of May, while PM Renzi was helding his electoral speech in the town-centre of Reggio Emilia, refugees and activists fof Città Migrante, Lab AQ16 and CasaBettola forced the entrance of an empty building and occupied it with a housing project.

Five malian refugees started a big work to live in  dignity in their new home. These five people, who came to Italy after the civil war in Libia in 2011, were sleeping in abandoned factories or in the streets, without any kind of comfort.

This is a response to the lack of institutional policy for public housing in this moment of crisis, where thousands of people can’t afford rents and live in the streets. In these days the Italian government, through the “Housing Act” by Minister Lupi, has declared a war to poverty and to those who get organised collectively against it. The new Act voted by the Government allows the State to cut water and light to occupied buildings, no matter if the bills are regularly paid. Not only, residence certificates will not be delivered to those living in abandoned places, leading to invisibility and exclusion thousands of citizens, including their children, who will have no longer access to public services. This is Renzi’s response to crisis!

The response we give during #mayofsolidarity is far different. Occupation, collective maintenance and restoration of abandoned houses, stop building speculation, confiscation of properties from organised-crime! These are the strategies to face the problem of homeless-ness and spread rights and dignity to everybody.