The Roma Residence is a group of buildings, located in Via di Bravetta 451, at 10 minutes distance from the Vatican. Each building is composed by hundreds of bed-sitters.
The owner is Massimo Mezzaroma, a big building contractor).
In agreement with the town council, the complex has been used for the lodging assistance. During the years these buildings have been lived in by thousands persons, with the costs charged on the municipality, who have rights to lodging assistance and others with rents directly with the building constructor.
Back in 1983 the municipality was paying 4 millions lire, monthly, for each of the bed-sitters occupied by the persons having rights to lodging assistance and from then on has continued to pay exorbitant amounts, approximately till March 2006 when the Roma Residence was due to be shut down for change of usage destination and consequent revaluation of the area.
During the past 23 years every time that a house was found for the Italian families that needed lodging assistance, the bed-sitter has been often rented to immigrants from various ethnic groups) and often in accordance with their relevant embassies, at exorbitant prices and, as it can be imagined, never openly.
Since several years the inefficiencies inside the Residence have reached extremely high levels, indecent not only for human beings but also for the animals. The shocking levels of dirtiness make it a dump in open air, with the sewers that discharge directly into the areas earlier used as garages, with rubbish everywhere, several colonies of rats, with no lifts, without hot water and, sometimes, without electric power. Childs and elderly persons in particular are getting ill and, for all the residents, there is the threat to be put on the street without any advance notice.
Residence Roma, its history with the private and public persons related to it, is the highest symbol of the lodging deterioration and of the moral and institutional decay in Rome, a business on the shoulder of poor people and on the shoulders of each single taxpayer; and the story, unfortunately, seems destined to repeat itself.