The right to housing is a prerequisite to exercising other fundamental rights (such as the rights to work, to found a family, to health, to private life).
In 1990 Emmaus Villafranca created the cooperative SOS Casa and bought a building that they planned to renovate, this building would house the first 5 apartments.
Decent housing was made available at affordable prices and specific support was provided for vulnerable people on the housing market (migrants, young couples, pensioners, single-income families, seperated parents), for the categories of people that are too "poor" to afford rents.
The SOS Casa cooperative is currently managing 36 apartments for around 100 people.
We organise awareness-raising activities and remind institutions of their duty to defend the fundamental right to housing.
In November 2015 we and the University of Verona co-organised a meeting on our experiences of social housing and we looked at comparisons.
In January 2017 we organised a public meeting about housing, we projected a video about the Winter of 1954 and held a debate with the person who manages evictions from the Court of Verona as well as a representative of the city of Villafranca.
The group leaders, companions and friends.
Local associations and parishes.
We intend to ask the public body which manages housing, 'ATER', whether it would be possible to use unoccupied apartments free-of-charge for a period of 15 years and in exchange these apartments would be renovated.
SOS Casa would cover the costs of this renovation and thus a public good would be put at the disposal of the collective.
Around 100 people, all of them vulnerable people in Villafranca, now have decent housing and pay an affordable rent.
Thanks to the many public initiatives led by the SOS Casa cooperative the topic of housing has been picked up on by the local media and there is now more lobbying of public institutions.