Public housing in Genoa | Photo: ANSA / Archive photo
Public housing in Genoa | Photo: ANSA / Archive photo

Eleven foreign citizens filed an appeal against the provisional ranking recently approved by the Municipality of Genoa for access to public housing, claiming it is discriminatory.

Eleven foreign citizens residing in the Italian city of Genoa filed a civil suit through the Association for Juridical Studies on Immigration (ASGI) and the Italian non-profit Avvocati di Strada (Street Attorneys) to contest the provisional ranking recently approved by the Municipality of Genoa for access to public housing.

Numerous foreign citizens were excluded from the ranking due to the failure to produce documentation certifying they do not own any real estate in their countries of origin.

Charges of discrimination

According to the plaintiffs, the request to produce this documentation, which is also contained in a regulation of the Region of Liguria, is discriminatory given that Italian citizens are simply asked for a self-declaration that they do not have any property abroad. This, despite the fact that Italian authorities can equally check declarations by both Italian citizens and foreigners.

ASGI jurists Elena Fiorini and Alberto Guariso, who filed the appeal together with Emilio Robotti of Avvocati di Strada, said in a statement that in most cases, "the documents required of foreigners are impossible to find due to the absence of a cadastral system in the country of origin."

New Italian citizens and refugees among those excluded

Among those excluded -- all of whom have permanent legal residency in Italy -- were some who had recently acquired Italian citizenship and some with refugee status.

"The issue has already been examined by many Italian courts, all of which accepted the foreign citizens' arguments," Fiorini said.

"Last year the Constitutional Court also sanctioned the unconstitutionality of a similar regulation contained in a law of the Region of Abruzzo."

"The Region of Liguria and the Municipality of Genoa could and should have taken note of these rulings and modified the announcement and the regulation, as ASGI previously requested in a letter that went unanswered," the attorneys said.

If the judges rule in favour of the plaintiffs' arguments, the housing assignment procedure will have to be redone.

 

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