Milan to get 250 council flats

Caritas to help finance the plan

Milan’s city hall is to turn over 250 small flats to non-profit NGOs for renovation and assignment to families in need.

The announcement was made by the city’s archbishop, Cardinal Angelo Scola, during a visit to a run-down district in the eastern suburbs occupied mainly by squatters awaiting eviction, reported authoritative daily La Repubblica.

Apart from Caritas Ambrosiana, lay NGOs will also join in the plan, like Il Germoglio and Dar=Casa. The latter is a non-profit working to help immigrants find housing, and takes its name from the Arabic (dar) and Italian (casa) words for “home”.

In negotiations over the past few months betweeen city hall and Caritas, the plan is taking form for the city authorities to hand over some 250 small apartments to the charitable organisations, which will then renovate them at their own expense and rent them out to needy families at well under the market rate, somewhere between €150 and €300 per month, depending on the size. T

he Fondazone S. Carlo alone, an offshoot of Caritas, is budgeting €2 million for renovation work, much of which will come from the voluntary “8 per mille” donation taxpayers may make with their annual income-tax return.

On average, the restoration work financed by the charitable organisations is expected to run to some €20-25,000 per apartment. The flats will be in many different parts of the city, but all in respectable buildings, most of them formerly publicly owned, but with most of the flats sold off to sitting tenants and those still unsold now to be dedicated to the plan.

While most of the flats are small – around 50 sqm – said Cardinal Scola, they will be better than living on the street. Some will however be larger, 70 or 80 sqm, and suitable for famlies with children.

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