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Non profit per chi? Riflessioni sul ruolo del Terzo Settore nella costruzione di una nuova politica per la casa a Palermo

  • Autori: Lo Piccolo, F; Giampino, A; Todaro, V
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2018
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
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Recent social housing programme reforms in Southern European Countries emphasise homeless involvement in the public discussion about planning and the delivery of housing. Experiences in a new social housing Italian programme and recent studies on the subject (Viglianisi, 2014; Laino and Vitale, 2015; Lo Piccolo and Giampino, 2016) reveal a number of obstacles for what concerns homeless participation in social housing programmes. This article critically assesses Arnstein’s ladder in relation to the institutionalization of homeless participation in the new social housing Italian programme "Multi-fund National Operational Programme Metropolitan Cities 2014-2020", on evidence from the case study of Palermo. Although this paper focuses primarily on Italy, and in particular on Palermo, it has a wider applicability in principle. As suggested by Brand and Gaffikin (2007:284), “hard cases can illuminate the challenges and contradictions involved in a proposition, without laying claim to being typical.” From this point of view, Palermo represents an extreme case and the consequent reflections can be helpful in order to individuate and discuss some broader phenomena that are much more evident – and consequently analysable – in ‘extreme’ conditions. In the new social housing Italian programme (Multi-fund National Operational Programme Metropolitan Cities 2014-2020), homeless participation is cast as mandatory in the process of reframing traditional housing policies. Due to these conditions, we increasingly find local authorities coming up with engagement practises of homeless in the construction of local housing solutions. This "participative turn" in social housing programmes had not allowed the 'citizen control' but alternatively the 'third sector organization control'. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, since the 80s in Europe and Italy an increasing number of housing services was entrusted to private non-profit organizations and to associations of volunteering, diminishing the direct role of the public sector in the housing system and its related policies. Although this "participative turn" is considered a result of a new model of governance in order to facilitate the relationship between homeless and institutions, it is still controversial the role that the third sector plays in encouraging greater participation of homeless. In fact, although the third sector has a private juridical nature but with a strong social commitment, actually it works as an economic agent that operates on the market as a real business agency. If in the recent past, third sector organisations have represented the voice of homeless needs in the public debate, now these organisations often react in a conservative way in order to maintain their privileges (and economic advantages) in managing temporary shelters instead of supporting policies for the realization of new scattered-site stable housing. Secondly, according to a FEANTSA (European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless) definition, homeless in Southern European cities, such as in Palermo, are groups of inhabitants (without alcohol disorders or severe mental illness) living in occupied public or religious properties, with no legal rights. Therefore it is difficult for public institutions to consider and involve directly squatters in public procedures and activities, due to their legal status. In fact, the Italian most recent measure on housing (Law no. 80 of 2014) imposes to combat the unauthorised occupation of buildings by preventing homeless/squatters from being able to take residence, thus precluding them from enjoying a series of related rights. Amongst these, there is the fundamental right of participation to the public debate on policies to be implemented on housing deprivation. Consequently, the role of third sector organizations in participative processes becomes crucial, being based on a principle of subsidiar