Giving Memory A Future
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Bonfadini Street communal camp, Milan (Italy).
© Alessandro Serranò.

The housing policies designed for Roma and Sinti people in Italy raise two key issues. First is the consistency of the housing solutions offered: to what extent are such solutions truly housing solutions, that is, to what extent can they really ensure the Roma are housed according to the socially prescribed principles shared by our societies? The second issue is connected with the measures and policies that form the framework for the supply of housing: what resources for integration are being mobilized in addition to housing resources? And, even more importantly, what ‘integration’ opportunities are these populations being offered? And what is the relationship between the goal of integration and the goal of social control of the Roma?

From: Tosi A., Le politiche abitative per i Rom e i Sinti ["Housing policies for the Roma and Sinti"], in: Bonetti P., Simoni A., Vitale T., La condizione giuridica dei rom e sinti ["The legal status of the Roma and Sinti in Italy"], Giuffrè publishers, Milan 2011, pp. 791-804.

Worldwide, the Roma and Sinti populations live in a large variety of different kinds of housing: from luxurious or modest homes to ‘nomad camps’ to shantytowns, from caravans to cottages to revamped farmhouses. However, what is common to Roma and Sinti populations is the acute discrimination they suffer in access to dignified living conditions.

The issue of social inclusion of this population is closely connected with its living conditions / lifestyle. Roma youngsters who grow up on the margins of their host society suffer the most from the social exclusion of their population..

Any serious Roma housing policy should include a variety of solutions suited to the highly diversified situations, needs, and life projects of the various Roma and Sinti populations.

"Le politiche dell'abitare", in Vitale T., Politiche possibili. Abitare la città con i rom e i sinti, Carocci, Roma, 2009, pp. 163-288. Esempi di politiche abitative "inclusive" di Comuni italiani.

• Ambrosini M., Tosi A. (a cura di), "Vivere ai margini. Un'indagine sugli insediamenti rom e sinti in Lombardia", Ismu, 2007.