14 Jun 2013 08:00
Technically, it's called “arrearage innocent”: indicating people will be evicted because with their scarce income they are unable to pay the rent.
The families with many members are the most vulnerable; families of up to 6 often live in a 40 square meter apartments with little or no means to apply to public housing to relocate.
While social emergency demands increase rapidly, just in the city of Milan 5.000 public houses remain empty, waiting to be surveyed and put in condition to be inhabited.
The Mauhay family is from Philippines. Arnold, Mardy and their children Adrian, Alessa and Angel, were living in a house in the north of Milan. The building was very badly maintained, the stairs had no lights and the dangerous electric wiring affected their house. After their eviction they are living in a hotel with the support of the municipality.
Kumara and Mary are from Sri Lanka. They, as many others, are victims of the illegal rent black market. As they are undocumented migrants it is impossible for them to register without permits for a housing contract. When they tried to ask the owner to give them a proper lease, he increased the rent. They were unable to pay and soon after received an eviction notification. Now Kumara is living in his car, and Mary is hosted in protection housing with their son, Nathaka.
During the realization of this project I've built a close relationship with several families. In the beginning I tried to follow their stories from the notification to the eviction, but when the police and the legal officer avoid me to take photos during these moments, I had to focus my attention on other aspects of their stories, like details that could reveal the dramatic experience they were experiencing. After the eviction, in fact, some families went to hosting structures, another part moved to hotels with the support of the municipality, while many others had no other choice but to sleep on the streets while they wait for a public social house, to which they are entitled.