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Urban recycling for the housing we need: self-renovation in Rome

Rome is a city under intense rental pressure, suffering from a chronic shortage of social and affordable housing. The situation has deteriorated significantly as a result of reforms pursued since the 1990s together with the state’s progressive disengagement from public housing. The state abandoned its financial responsibility for housing in 1998 when the job was transferred to the Italian regions. Three years later, a process was started known as cartolarizzazione, which enforced the expedient sale of large amounts of Italy’s public housing with the ultimate goal of bringing €30-40bn back into the government’s coffers. This extremely brutal process led to mass evictions of long-term, low-inc