Italy under eviction

Collection with 39 media items created by Alice Sassu

26 Jul 2013 14:15

When I started this project I set out to show a hidden side of life Italy today, a side out of the media glare. This is the story about the families of migrants and Italians facing the crisis with unemployment, high costs of life, and the precarious situation of losing the basic right to housing.

Technically, it’s called “guilty arrearage” and ends in eviction because of the poverty of the inhabitants. In 2013 in Italy 250.000 families risk this to happen to them, that’s an average of 140 evictions a day, almost 6 each hour. In the following years this phenomenon could even be more widespread due to the abolition of public support (“Fondo sostegno affitto nazionale”), which has been helping more than 350.000 families pay their rents. Even as the pressure on housing in the social emergency rise some 5.000 public houses remain empty, waiting to be surveyed and brought up to standard to be inhabited, and that’s just in the city of Milan.

I’ve built a close relation with several families and followed their stories from the notification of eviction to the day itself and being pushed out. Often the police and legal officers prevent me doing my work so I turn my focus to the other aspects of these stories, particulars that can reveal the dramatic experiences going on in these families lives. After the eviction, in fact, some families were rehoused temporarily, others went to cheeap hotels with the support of the municipality, but many others had no other choice than to sleep on the street while they await decisions being made on access to public social housing (which they have right to).

Many stories are focused on women who had only a part time jobs or no job at all, like Letizia, Maria, Cadija, Edy, Pina, Genny and Pina Cortese who we see in my photographs, all struggling to pay their rent, many have lost that battle already.
Cadija is from Morocco, she’s been living in Italy for 8 years. She’s unemployed and has a 17 years-old son. Cadija has already received three eviction notifications. Cadija has not received news of her husband, a Syrian national who went back to his homeland before the war started. She lost her job and now she hopes to received public social housing before eviction day.
Letizia experienced eviction in January. She has a 15 years-old daughter and her part time income does not allow her to pay the full rent. After the eviction she received a small flat to live, thanks to a local community association, but this solution is temporary and she hopes to receive full public social housing soon.
Maria has lost her job recently and was evicted from her home two months ago. Now she’s hosted in an emergency shelter run by a local organization. Edy was evicted last December and has a new born baby girl only a few months old. The society for whom she was working did not pay her salary for many months and in few months time her contract will change from full time to part time so her salary will decrease. Now she is staying at a friend’s apartment.
Pina is living at the first floor of a building without an elevator, she is severly disabled and has received her eviction notice.
Genny is living in the same building. She has no regular job and she has a chiold with special physical needs who can not live with her because of the lack of facilities in the house. She is expecting eviction soon.
Pina Cortese is 28 years old and she works in a shop in the city centre. A local committee of inhabitants protested and halted her eviction for the moment.

There are also stories of people who leave the country they have chosenre-migration to return to their place of birth, because of the lost of job and housing. This is the case for Peppe, a 53 year-old man living in the North of Italy for many years and now returning to Naples because of the loss of his job, the difficulty to find a new one, and the eviction that happened last January.
A similar story is that of a family from Egypt who have been living in Italy for the past 8 years. When Mohamed lost his job and his wife lost her permit to stay because she lost her job too, they decided to return to Egypt, just few days before they were evicted.

The families with many members are the most vulnerable, families of up to 6 often live in a 40 square metre apartment with little or no means to apply to public housing to relocate. The Mauhay family, 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.
Valeria and Mario were the guardians of a villa belongiong to a rich family in Milan. After they lost their jobs they found themselves, at the age of 60 unemployed like their two 30-year-old sons. After the eviction they are seeking support from a local organization.
Kumara and Mary are, as many others, victims of the illegal rent black marke). As they are undocumented migrants it is impossible for them to register without permits for a housing contract. When they tried to ask to the house owner to give them a proper lease he increase 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 a protection housing with their son, Nathaka.
Flavio, Rosaria and Nancy are a young family. Flavio has no regular job and Rosaria is a teacher with an unstable contract. Two months ago a committee of local residents protested their evicition and won a temporary stay for the family.
The Al Badaui family is composed of Ayman and Abir, Maram, Mariam, Mohamed and the little Samer. Abir does not speak Italian and takes care of the house and family while Ayman works as a cleaner at the airport. When his working hours were reduced he became unable to pay his rent so they received an eviction notification. The committee of residents in their block organized a sit-in and their eviction has been postponed. The family has some chance to receive a public social house, but, as Ayman told me, the solidarity his family has received from the local residents has given them the most support, restoring their strength and their sense of humanity.

Eviction European Eco... Italy Families House

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Low Income Families Face Evictions in...
Milan, Italy
By Alice Sassu
25 Jul 2013

A popular neighborhood in Milan. “Against the crisis there is the real minute by Wind," says the ad of a telephone company.

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Low Income Families Face Evictions in...
Milan, Italy
By Alice Sassu
25 Jul 2013

Kumara Serasinghe sleeps in this car since he has been evicted. He came from Sri Lanka with his wife Mary eight years ago, and they have been living in Italy ever since. They are, together with many other people, victims of irregular renting contracts. As they are undocumented migrants, it is impossible for them to register without permits for a housing contract. When they asked the landlord to give them a proper lease, he increased the rent. Soon after, they were evicted because of their inability to pay.

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Low Income Families Face Evictions in...
Milan, Italy
By Alice Sassu
25 Jul 2013

The stairway of a block of flats completely occupied by migrants. The two-room flats are crumbling down to pieces and still the renting fees are beyond the financial capabilities of the families. Milan, Italy, July, 2013.

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Italy under eviction
Milan, Italy
By Alice Sassu
25 Jul 2013
  1. Valeria and his husband Mario used to work as gatekeepers in the villa of a wealthy family. After their layoff, they live with the retirement plan of Valeria. Mario and his son are currently unemployed. After their eviction, an association found a temporary accommodation for them.
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Low Income Families Face Evictions in...
Milan, Italy
By Alice Sassu
25 Jul 2013

Peppe, 53, is at the train station waiting for the one that will take him back to his hometown of Naples. He has been unable to find a job after losing his previous one after being evicted in January. Milan, Italy, July, 2013.

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Italy under eviction
Milan, Italy
By Alice Sassu
26 Jul 2013
  1. The Mauhay family in a hotel, just after the eviction. The municipality pays for a hotel accommodation only when the evicted families ask for an emergency procedure. If their request is judged positively, then they receive a temporary accommodation before of their housing project apartment.
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Italy under eviction
Milan, Italy
By Alice Sassu
25 Jul 2013
  1. The Mauhay family waiting for the police officers to evict them from their house.
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Italy under eviction
Milan, Italy
By Alice Sassu
25 Jul 2013
  1. The Girardi family: Flavio, Rosaria and Nancy. Flavio works occasionally with a terminable contract, and Rosaria works as a temporary employee in a school. They are under eviction.
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Italy under eviction
Milan, Italy
By Alice Sassu
25 Jul 2013
  1. Peppe is unemployed, and is living in Milan. He was evicted last January, and after that he decided to go back to Naples, his hometown.
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Italy under eviction
Milan, Italy
By Alice Sassu
25 Jul 2013
  1. Interior of Peppe's house. He is waiting for the eviction with his partner.
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Italy under eviction
Milan, Italy
By Alice Sassu
25 Jul 2013
  1. The Mahuay brothers inside a hotel. This collection tells the story about the families of migrants and Italians facing the crisis with unemployment, high costs of life, and the precarious situation of losing the basic right to housing.
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Italy under eviction
Milan, Italy
By Alice Sassu
25 Jul 2013
  1. The two-room apartment of the Al Badaui family.
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Italy under eviction
Milan, Italy
By Alice Sassu
25 Jul 2013
  1. Genny works occasionally. Her partner is an illegal immigrant and they are under eviction. The social services took away her disabled son because she doesn't live in a safe place.
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Low Income Families Face Evictions in...
Milan, Italy
By Alice Sassu
25 Jul 2013

After being evicted, Maria obtained a bed in one of the emergency centers of the city.

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Italy under eviction
Milan, Italy
By Alice Sassu
25 Jul 2013
  1. A sit-in of no-eviction committees in a condominium where around ten evictions are soon to take place. Pina Cortese shouts against the landlord of some crumbling 20 sq.m apartments where the monthly rent is 600€.
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Low Income Families Face Evictions in...
Milan, Italy
By Alice Sassu
25 Jul 2013

Alessa Mauhay is inside her house during the family's eviction.

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Italy under eviction
Milan, Italy
By Alice Sassu
25 Jul 2013
  1. Maria on the day of the eviction. She used to live in a 15 sq. mt. Studio-flat, but since she has been fired she has been unable to pay the rent anymore.
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Italy under eviction
Milan, Italy
By Alice Sassu
25 Jul 2013
  1. Edy was evicted from her house last December, even if she has a daughter who is just a few months old. She doesn’t receive any wage from the society she works for, and in a few months her contract will switch from full to part-time.
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Italy under eviction
Milan, Italy
By Alice Sassu
25 Jul 2013
  1. Mauhay’s two-room apartment. Five of them used to sleep in this room; Adrian, the oldest son, slept in the living room.
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Low Income Families Face Evictions in...
Milan, Italy
By Alice Sassu
25 Jul 2013

Letizia was evicted from her house in January 2012. She also has a 15-year old daughter. While she waits to receive public housing, she is hosted by a local association in a studio flat.

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Italy under eviction
Milan, Italy
By Alice Sassu
25 Jul 2013
  1. The bedroom of the flat where the Mauhay family used to live.
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Low Income Families Face Evictions in...
Milan, Italy
By Alice Sassu
26 Jul 2013

The Mauhay family says goodbye to their home after being evicted. Milan, Italy, July, 2013.

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Italy under eviction
Milan, Italy
By Alice Sassu
25 Jul 2013
  1. A building in Milan, where six notices of eviction were given to the families.
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Italy under eviction
Milan, Italy
By Alice Sassu
25 Jul 2013
  1. The suitcases of the Al Badaui family. The eviction is delayed thanks to a no-eviction sit in organized by a neighborhood committee
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Low Income Families Face Evictions in...
Milan, Italy
By Alice Sassu
25 Jul 2013

Pina Cortese, 28, is a shop assistant in a store in the center of Milan. She is currently living with her unemployed partner, paying a rent of 600 euros per month. They were helped to temporarily avoid the eviction, thanks to a sit-in made by a neighborhood committee.

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Italy under eviction
Milan, Italy
By Alice Sassu
25 Jul 2013
  1. Maram Al Badaui is seen packing her suitcase on the day she has to leave her house.
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Low Income Families Face Evictions in...
Milan, Italy
By Alice Sassu
25 Jul 2013

People protest against the slow bureaucracy of the government administration in Milan. 5,000 housing flats in Milan have been built, but they have not been given to any of the families on the waiting list because the apartments are not up to code. Milan, Italy, July, 2013.

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Italy under eviction
Milan, Italy
By Alice Sassu
25 Jul 2013
  1. The municipality office that deals with the housing project and the evictions.
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Italy under eviction
Milan, Italy
By Alice Sassu
25 Jul 2013
  1. The housing conditions are often unbearable: systems are not compliant with current regulations and masonry are deteriorated, but rents do not seem to decrease.
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Low Income Families Face Evictions in...
Milan, Italy
By Alice Sassu
25 Jul 2013

Ayman and Abir have four young sons, Maram, Mariam, Mohammed and Samer. Ayman works for a cleaning service company but this year his salary decreased and he cannot afford to pay rent anymore. The residents committee on their block organized a sit-in and their eviction was postponed.

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Italy under eviction
Milan, Italy
By Alice Sassu
25 Jul 2013
  1. They have been living for 8 years in Italy. He lost his job. His wife is not eligible for the Italian visa as she is unemployed. A few days before the eviction, they decided to move back to Egypt.
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Italy under eviction
Milan, Italy
By Alice Sassu
25 Jul 2013
  1. Cadija lives with her 18 years old son in a 25 sq. mt apartment. She lost her job, and her son is attending a professional high school. They live in a two-room apartment, and they cannot afford the rent. They will be evicted soon.
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Italy under eviction
Milan, Italy
By Alice Sassu
25 Jul 2013
  1. The kitchen of a 30 sq.m two-room apartment that is under eviction.
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Low Income Families Face Evictions in...
Milan, Italy
By Alice Sassu
25 Jul 2013

Pina Platania lives in a first floor apartment of a condominium without an elevator. She is disabled and her house is under eviction.

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Low Income Families Face Evictions in...
Milan, Italy
By Alice Sassu
25 Jul 2013

Mariam Al Badaui and Samir in their kitchen. The Al Badaui family used to pay a monthly rent of 600 euros for 40 square meters.

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Italy under eviction
Milan, Italy
By Alice Sassu
25 Jul 2013
  1. Exterior of a house under eviction in the north of the city.
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Low Income Families Face Evictions in...
Milan, Italy
By Alice Sassu
25 Jul 2013

Arnold and his wife Mardy used to live in a two-bedroom apartment with their sons Adrian, Alessa, and daughter Angel Mauhay. The rent was 550 euros per month. After being evicted, the Mauhay family is waiting for a public house.

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Low Income Families Face Evictions in...
Milan, Italy
By Alice Sassu
25 Jul 2013

The interior of a home whose residents are to be evicted in Padova, a multi-ethnic neighborhood of the city.

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Low Income Families Face Evictions in...
Milan, Italy
By Alice Sassu
25 Jul 2013

Kumara and Mary Serasinghe used to live in a 40 square-meter two-bedroom apartment for 600 euros per month. After the eviction, the municipality social service relocated Mary and her son Nathaka to a foster home. They are now searching for a place to live. Milan, Italy, July, 2013.