Besides the 100,000 people in Rome who lack adequate housing, it is estimated that nearly a third of the city's 2.8 million inhabitants live in unlicensed premises -- problems for which the Italian authorities have no direct solution.
GV St. Paul's Basilica
SV & CU Homeless on steps of church feeding children (3 shots)
SV INT PAN ACROSS Homeless in pews
CU ZOOM OUT FROM Virgin Mary statue TO children sleeping on floor
GV ZOOM IN & PAN ACROSS Shanty town (2 shots)
SV Woman at water hydrant
GV Shanty down street
GV PAN ACROSS Construction site with new buildings in background
SV & GV New flats (2 shots)
Initials BB/1735 WH/JB/BB/1725
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Background: Besides the 100,000 people in Rome who lack adequate housing, it is estimated that nearly a third of the city's 2.8 million inhabitants live in unlicensed premises -- problems for which the Italian authorities have no direct solution.
At the moment, Rome needs at least 250,000 cheap dwellings -- and until they are provided 70,000 people will continue to live in the shanty-towns around the city.
Meanwhile, about 40,000 high-rent apartments remain unoccupied in the city -- the work of private developers who have been doing almost all the construction because the Rome municipality lacks the finance.
The habit of some developers of grossly exceeding the plans for which they have got building permission has also led to nearly half the housing built in the last ten years being illegal.
The result is a concrete ring of poorly constructed and unsightly apartment blocks that the authorities are reluctant to simply demolish because of the existing housing shortage.
But, this month, the judiciary -- with the support of the municipality -- took action against the illegal buildings by issuing instructions that electricity should not be connected to unlicensed premises and that sales must not be registered unless the proper certificates have been produced.