La casa è un diritto
proiéttàti bz
Advertisement
Advertisement
Housing is a right

[EN] (Emergency) Housing situation

(Emergency) Housing situation: What is happening in Bolzano?
Un contributo della community di proiéttàti bz21.01.2022
Ritratto di proiéttàti bz
Advertisement
Access to housing is a right, but for many in Bolzano this right is not being met. Politicians appear to acknowledge housing as a pressing issue in the region, as seen in a recent public statement by Councilor Deeg upon announcing the drafting of a new law on social and public housing.

"Affordable housing is a fundamental right and a big issue in South Tyrol too. The demand is high and the supply does not always meet this demand, so it is important that we create and develop good offers and funding systems in the area of ​​​​housing."

The province also made clear there commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals when presenting their strategy 'Everyday for future' last July. The target of SDG 11.1 is particularly relevant, stating 'By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums'. What do these words mean to the provincial government, are political commitments resulting in action, and do they improve the situation for all who live here? We have been working to find out how these commitments sit against the current reality and shine a light on what is happening in Bolzano.

Commitments vs current situation: The strategies must be implemented

Within the strategy document 7 priority areas of action are outlined. One of which, social security and equal opportunities, states there should be 'an equitable sharing of opportunities, regardless of origin and gender' and 'that no one has to live in undignified conditions'. But discrimination and undignified conditions within this region's housing market and policies are not hard to find. Over Christmas articles covered the inhumane treatment towards people who are homeless in this city. In 2012, the European Court of Justice condemned the old provincial housing subsidiary law of 2008 to be discriminatory towards non-EU citizens .Furthermore, our recent interviews show discrimination is also present in the rental market, with suspicion towards people based on race, gender, and employment type. If they really are to meet SDG commitments by 2030 clearly something must change. 

The price of buying and renting in South Tyrol continues to grow . We conducted a street survey in Bolzano and the high cost of housing ran through as a common sentiment. This makes accessing housing difficult for many, including for people we spoke to who are entitled to state support. The new state law is intended to, amongst other measures; introduce more rental controls, look at the criteria for accessing housing support, and promote barrier-free options for senior citizens and disabled people. But do these policies go far enough? 

Public participation and how it should be 

President of the province Arno Kompatscher expressed sustainable development can only be achieved together, that no one should be left behind or be socially disadvantaged, and that everyone has an invitation to participate. A participatory process was started last autumn and is set to continue throughout this year. But to what level will the province be willing to transfer power, how much influence will citizens have on decisions when it comes to housing policies and strategies, and who will be invited? The involvement of experts by experience and those impacted by decisions, in this case people who are currently facing barriers to housing, is essential within a participatory process. How will the province ensure these voices are heard?

It is time to put the spotlight on people's experiences

Housing is a right and one which the province say they recognize, but people's experiences tell a different story. As proiettati, we have been collecting the statements of citizens and projecting them on the streets of Bolzano to bring these to light.

Kompatscher said “we want to take courageous decisions”, time will tell if this courage means real change. To all those who call Bolzano there home: let's continue to make these stories visible, illuminate what's really happening and hold this government to account.
 
 

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement