This letter is addressed to the President of ATER, the Local Agency for Residential Buildings. Upwards of 1,000 public housing units remain vacant in Venice.
17 April 2018
To: ATER President dott. Aldino Padoan
Copy: to Mayor of the City of Venice dott. Luigi Brugnaro
The housing problem in Venice is at the root of a large majority of problems that are making life in the city ever more problematic. A city with ever fewer residents is a city destined to be incapable of offering an acceptable quality of life even to those who remain. An empty city, or one that is emptying, is a less secure city, with ever more inadequate services, and an ever more difficult coexistence with the crushing tourism monoculture. A city that cannot provide housing opportunities to the younger generations, a city that continues to depopulate is a city that is losing, day after day, its very soul.
I now turn to you, dear President, because ATER has properties to rent, many of which have been completely vacant for years. In our city there is a need for public housing, and it is paradoxical that, while such properties are available, none are being offered.
We know that many of the ATER homes are empty. Some, in good condition, have been closed for years and others, with little expense, could be fixed and assigned. Then there are still others that would require more extensive renovations and which could be assigned to people willing to undertake those repairs and who afterwards could be compensated with a rent that accounts for the expenses of the property renovations.
Being responsible for withholding access to housing from the community is a choice that cannot be taken lightly.
A city in great difficulty turns to you, a city which is suffering from a change in the balance of housing – a change which makes daily life difficult.
Allow me to extend to you a heartfelt appeal. Someone who has the opportunity, as you do, to do something for this city, should do it.
I ask you to put yourself in the shoes of those who are forced to leave the city. Of those who are not able to guarantee a future in the city to their children. Of those who, after a painful forced exodus, want to return to the city but are not able to.
I am certain that you will not be indifferent to this appeal, and I accordingly await your courteous reply.
With best regards,
President of the Municipality of Venezia Murano Burano
Giovanni Andrea Martini