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New social and affordable housing in Italy: between public and private initiatives

In addition to the two extremes of public and private housing, a third kind of housing option has recently emerged in Italy. The new option is financed by private (and public/private) means through the so-called ‘ethical real-estate funds’, which are dedicated to social housing. This option is aimed at those who find no adequate answer to their housing needs in either the public sector nor in the free market, corresponding to that ‘grey area’ of the population which represents the user base for affordable housing. While elsewhere in western Europe the very concept of social housing was introduced in the policy arena at the end of the Second World War, in Italy the situation is different: