Social housing is an instrument of housing policies to support those groups of people who are disadvantaged due to particular economic weaknesses and/or social relational fragility. Consequently, to achieve the objective of social sustainability, the rents of social housing must be below the market rents and low enough to be affordable. Italian law has set several rent thresholds which are based on local territorial agreements between landlords and renters associations. This article aims to examine whether these thresholds generate social fairness and housing affordability within each city and between different cities, or instead inequalities and spatial asymmetries. A cluster analysis is applied to study whether the goal of fairness is achieved, while the effectiveness of providing housing affordability is assessed by comparing the benchmarked rents with those of the national ministerial Real Estate Market Observatory. Two metropolitan cities—one in the north and another in the south of Italy—with different social and economic characteristics were chosen as case studies. The results show that variations in rents, location, and housing quality are fairly consistent within urban areas and cities. However, the benchmarked rents are not consistently related to the market rents and are often higher than the latter, failing to meet the provision of affordable housing that was the primary goal of the law.

Social Housing and Affordable Rent: The Effectiveness of Legal Thresholds of Rents in Two Italian Metropolitan Cities

Trovato M. R.;
2022-01-01

Abstract

Social housing is an instrument of housing policies to support those groups of people who are disadvantaged due to particular economic weaknesses and/or social relational fragility. Consequently, to achieve the objective of social sustainability, the rents of social housing must be below the market rents and low enough to be affordable. Italian law has set several rent thresholds which are based on local territorial agreements between landlords and renters associations. This article aims to examine whether these thresholds generate social fairness and housing affordability within each city and between different cities, or instead inequalities and spatial asymmetries. A cluster analysis is applied to study whether the goal of fairness is achieved, while the effectiveness of providing housing affordability is assessed by comparing the benchmarked rents with those of the national ministerial Real Estate Market Observatory. Two metropolitan cities—one in the north and another in the south of Italy—with different social and economic characteristics were chosen as case studies. The results show that variations in rents, location, and housing quality are fairly consistent within urban areas and cities. However, the benchmarked rents are not consistently related to the market rents and are often higher than the latter, failing to meet the provision of affordable housing that was the primary goal of the law.
affordable rent
cluster analysis
social fairness
social housing
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/542568
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