Palermo squatters in Sferracavallo will finally gain residency

Four families in Palermo, Italy, are living in illegally occupied homes and are unable to access public water services due to the lack of a regular contract. While four of the families have been able to reconnect water services by resolving outstanding issues, the other four, including Serafina Lo Bianco, have no rights or contract with the water company. Lo Bianco, who has been on the public housing list for 19 years, occupied the unassigned property three years ago out of desperation as a mother of two children. With the help of social workers, they are now trying to find a solution to the water cutoffs caused by unpaid bills from the previous occupants. This situation highlights the dilemma of combating illegal occupation while also ensuring access to essential services. Lo Bianco has met with the local social services councilor and provided documentation of her housing request, and steps are being taken to regularize their residency status. While the law states that those who occupy property illegally without title cannot request residency or access to public services, the municipality has previously granted residency to occupants in exceptional cases of vulnerability. However, residency does not legitimize the illegal occupation itself, and special circumstances of vulnerability must be present. Nonetheless, being registered in the municipal registry allows individuals to enjoy healthcare, possess documents such as identity cards, access support services for families in need, and enter into regular contracts for utilities such as electricity, water, and gas.

Palermo, gli occupanti abusivi delle case di Sferracavallo alla fine avranno la residenza

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