Social housing in the hands of crime? The Municipality of Toasts start an inspection activity on assignments and asks for the cooperation of the judiciary. The investigative findings against the man from Brindisi have set off several alarm bells Gianluca Volpearrested two days ago by the Brindisi mobile squad as part of an anti-mafia operation that led 13 people in prison for robbery, extortion and drugs. The wiretaps contained in the precautionary custody order show that the criminal organization would have had the assignment of social housing in hand.
A council house for the boss’s dog
In particular, it would have been Volpe himself who claimed to have not only one lodging, the one that hosts his own cane, but also others for anyone who has turned to the clan and needed a home. “It results – reads the ordinance – as al clan would address who needed public residential housing, which the association could dispose of entirely outside the lawful and ritual assignment procedures”. In light of all this, the Municipality of Brindisi has decided to open a check on the assignments. “We haven’t had any indications except from the press,” he says Mauro Masiello, municipal councilor for housing policies – and as soon as I saw them I asked the municipality’s housing sector to investigate and try to understand if among these names there is someone who is the assignee or not. It is not easy to identify an illegally occupied house because for us there is a person inside and if we don’t have different communications for us the owner is the one. Although we have made a protocol with the prosecutor and the traffic police that as soon as there is news of an illegal occupation, the public prosecutor is asked for a preventive seizure order and we clear out the property. We have almost thirty-five freed in these five years, something that never happened, the same accommodation several times». The assignment of housing is therefore one thing, but who actually lives in those houses is another. The Municipality is aware of this, most of the time even a report can be enough to reveal the deception but in the specific case, that relating to the anti-mafia operation, the situation seems more complex.
The black market in housing
“It is unlikely that accommodation moves to another without justification, or falls within the parameters of takeover or amnesty, in this case there must be a series of requirements,” says Masiello. «We – he adds – made them amnesty and we also accelerated a lot because they had been blocked for ten years. We are aware that there may then be a totally illegal home buying and selling market. But between the Arca Nord house and the houses of the Municipality, because the Municipality also assigns those of Arca Nord, there are 3,300 lodgings around and managing and controlling them is not simple. We gave it a big squeeze. We will ask the Questura for an extract, the one they can give us, in order to be able to identify some addresses or names, to verify who actually lives in those lodgings». At this point, the Municipality counts on the collaboration of the investigators and the magistrates to get to the bottom of the matter. The risk or the luck, depending on how you want to see it, is to uncover the classic “Pandora’s box” bringing to light a phenomenon that has now taken hold even in criminal circles that of the illegal assignment of housing.