However, as known to all of us, citizens of the world, in the last three years several events have shocked us, following the devastating consequences of the current economic crisis, and so this study has had to widen the investigation towards the EU28, with the purpose of trying to ensure those conditions that can benefit the greatest number of people.
Nevertheless, the more we were going on with the research, the more we realized that the international face kept changing. A dramatic and epochal change about which we are going to deal with in our study.
Therefore, this research isn’t aiming only at an improvement of the housing sector of Italian, Mexican and EU28 citizens: this delimitation would be not only selfish but also ridiculous, shortsighted and suicidal in as much as this is how we can define a human being’s wisdom: “Not to get all, but contributing to make it possible to get to be a whole”.
Now in this “climate of hatred” that we live in some countries of the International Community, why would we think only about renovating the apartment if the condominium – that is our common home: the Earth – is falling apart! Would any thinking human being ever consider renovating the house, embellishing it in its interiors and furnishings, spending all his money, when the condominium (and consequently the home) could collapse because deteriorated, structurally weakened, moldy, worn for the wear of time, for calamities, for parasites?
And moreover, for which wise human being could the gold of his windows be enough? When from those same windows he can only see a cold and dark winter, sad images, images of the suffering of his neighbors: other human beings, other living beings who, in the past, had filled nature with joy and beauty. Now, you can see fear reflected in their eyes, they are helpless, they are fugitives, because their home is destroyed, because they are victims of evil and the imbalance of many sick and coward minds.
Only a suicide, or a shortsighted person, could think that the beauty of his own home would be enough to him to be happy, ignoring what is around him!
So, keeping in mind this interpretation, this idea of balance, of Love supremacy, of balance between mind and heart, of universal brotherhood, of the sanctity of each human life, and in particular, in the name of the poor, the elderly, the children, the sick, the immigrants, the refugees, the unemployed, the abandoned and the people rejected by the society, this project, DOMUS XXI, is of all and for all, and must be built in compliance, understanding and in the sacredness of all living beings and of the creation, as taught by pope Paul VI: “The edifice of modern civilization must be founded on spiritual principles, able not only to support, but also to illuminate and animate it.”3
We proceed now to introduce our research!
To deal with this theme, we have chosen to analyze the impact of economy on Social Housing and the actions of governments, with particular reference to the Italian and Mexican ones. This research analyzes the protection held in both systems in order to determine whether, and to what extent, it is possible to speak of points of convergence and divergence on the lines of development of Social Housing.
The topic of the right to housing has been examined through an analysis of the global economy, and in particular of the effects of the economic crisis in Europe and the implementation of social Housing policies in Italy. Also, we have examined the extent of the Mexican Instituto del Fondo Nacional de la Vivienda para los Trabajadores (Infonavit) model and its stock market listing through the “Certificados de Vivienda” (CEDEVIS) as additional financing of the Infonavit.
This research consists of three sections: the first one divided into six chapters, analyses the socio-economic landscape and Social Housing in Europe (particularly in Italy), the second section, divided into two chapters, focuses on the Social Housing system in Mexico, in particular on the Infonavit system. The third section is divided into three chapters in which there is a synthesis of the historical context of the XXI century and its effects on the International Community (through 21 considerations, summary “micro pills”).
Finally, concluding remarks are formulated, containing some proposals.
The work starts with a chapter titled “The European Economic and Social context: its impact on present and future generations”, which analyzes the difficult time of financial crisis and the resulting difficulties faced by the younger generation in entering the labor market. The crisis has produced economic and social consequences; among all we may include high unemployment and the new and widespread types of contracts (characterized by temporariness and less protection), that condition significantly the new European generations and their decision to pursue a path of autonomous life. In particular, in the Italian case, unemployment is a significant phenomenon among young people, even the graduates, and the low-skilled ones. In this chapter the measures put in place at both national and European level, are analyzed, too, in an effort to create new forms of welfare to ensure balance, stability, social and economic prosperity.
In the second chapter, titled “Housing Hardship”, we examine the European indicators of social exclusion of the EU2020 strategy and the actions taken by Italy for their monitoring and improvement in the current economic crisis context. In this chapter we analyze the phenomena of housing problems and social exclusion, both as a process of social breakdown between individuals and institutions, which inevitably leads to social vulnerability, and as a repercussion on the young generations who are unable to “emancipate” economically and socially, thence forcibly remaining within the family of origin. A circumstance, this latter, which is confirmed by the latest ISTAT reports, where we can observe that 47.4% of young employed Italians still live with their parents, thus hindering their social and economic independence, which inevitably leads to fuel the phenomenon of the “housing hardship”, and to a situation of “stress” and “frustration” for the lack of access to housing and its maintenance, or, in the “worst” cases to “overcrowding” of housing and the consequent housing unsuitability.
In the third chapter, titled “Analysis and Reflections on the current context and on the performance of real estate and financial policies in Europe”, we examine the characteristics of the Italian real estate market and of the one of other European countries in the context of the still not finished financial crisis, a historical moment in which home is a primary asset increasingly denied, especially to the most vulnerable social groups. These in fact are increasingly excluded from the housing market in absence of adequate social policies, both at national and European level, absence that leads to an exorbitant increase in the deficit of affordable decent housing. In the current framework of the European real estate market there is a decrease in the safety of the lease contracts, with a greater risk of default of the mortgages, which inevitably leads to the eviction. In this context it is inevitable the occurrence of multiple difficulties for access to credit and the constant fluctuation in interest rates of bank loans, which often absorb a large part of disposable income, which in the Italian case is still at the levels of three decades ago (although there have been some improvements in September and October 2015, following the last government intervention of 2014). So in this chapter we discuss the data collected on the real estate sector, data which, although the financial crisis is not over, yet, suggest an improvement in the overall situation, but that could actually have little long-term benefits.
In the fourth chapter, titled “The European Social Fund”, we examine the EU measures, operating in the field of social rights and welfare, to promote regional, national and European initiatives through the European Social Fund, initiatives that – since 2014 – have been placed within a common framework and pursue complementary political objectives; they represent the main source of investment at EU level to help development, growth and employment recovery, ensuring the Member States, in line with the Europe 2020 objectives.
In the fifth chapter titled “Social policies and their decentralization in Europe”, we explain the policies implemented under the Social Housing in European countries, particularly in Italy. The European Union in order to secure these objectives, works through the formula “Think global, act local” through the framework-program known as PROGRESS that aims to provide – through the European Social Fund – financial help to narrow the gap between the Member States and their regions in terms of “quality of life”.
In the sixth chapter, entitled “Decree-law 47/2014: the so-called House Plan” we identify the Italian measures directed to solve the “housing crisis” afflicting the country, and also measures to curb the problem of illegal occupation. In this chapter, the measures implemented by the Executive, that is the so-called Housing Plan, are described.
Subsequently, in the second section titled “Social Housing in the United States of Mexico”, structured in two chapters, we analyze the Instituto del Fondo Nacional de la Vivienda para los Trabajadores (Infonavit) in the first chapel; in the second one, the “Certificados de Vivienda” (CEDEVIS) and their listing on the stock exchange are illustrated.
The third section, titled “A dream for the International Community: DOMUS XXI”, is composed of three chapters. In chapter I “La Veritas”, we propose a synthesis on the historical and contemporary context of the XXI century and the effects on the international community, a reading through 21 considerations on several issues that have a direct impact on the capacity and the implementation of housing rights in Europe.
In chapter II, “The pleading: Love versus hatred”, we illustrate today’s “excesses of capitalism” and the consequent world citizens’ lack of trust in leaders and institutions in some member countries of the International Community; moreover, we suggest some remedies to change course, including the transition to an “inclusive capitalism”.
Finally in chapter III “La vie en rose: Iustitia”, the concluding observations on the outcome of the research on the Social Housing operating in Europe and Mexico are made, as well as proposals for the creation of four new institutions that can contribute to the improvement of the housing system, not only in Europe, but also internationally: two institutions at European level, the European Fund for Social Housing (IFESH) with the respective supervisory body and the creation of a multinational company: IFESH28 WAREHOUSE and two worldwide institutions: a Research Center: Domus XXI, and a Foundation with the same name.
The hope is that this research can be the “sounding board” so that all those brilliant minds and dreamers of Europe who are not afraid of Love and are competent in the various subjects of this study, do a “teamwork” to contribute, firstly, to give the right tools to economists, lawyers, leaders, rulers, men of the EU28 institutions, of the UN, of the World Bank, of the IOR, with the aim of improving “the plan” and “construction materials” proposed in this paper to lay the first stone of the IFESH.
Secondly, so that all men and women of good will, “dreamers who are not afraid of Love” and are in the world of business, finance and the institutions of the European Union, do a valuable “teamwork” with the aim of being able to sign the charter of the “multinational” IFESH28 WAREHOUSE, thus allowing all those human beings today discouraged and disheartened, to see a glimmer of hope for their future – a future that unfortunately right now they see obscure – and also allowing them to regain their dignity through work, so that they can make two steps forward (for now these two steps are enough) to Happiness, or the right to have a family and therefore the right to have a home.
And again, our desire is that this spirit of “teamwork” is spread as a powerful “deadly virus”, a tiny virus to which we would give a special name: AMORE, LOVE, AMOUR, LYUBOV, LIEBE, ALHABB, AMOR! today we let you free, so VOLA, FLY, VUELA, MOUCHES, ALDHDHUBAB, MUKHI, FLIEGEN! and do your job! TOCCA, TATCHI, TOCA, TOUCH, DOTYKA, BERØRER, SCHLIFF!, all CUORI, HEARTS, COEURS, CORAZONES, SERDTSA, HĀTSU, CORAÇÕES!
And particularly the hearts of all the prolific, brilliant and dreaming minds which are in any University and Research Organization on Earth, the minds of people qualified in the various fields of study (but please virus, do not forget to touch also the brilliant and dreaming minds of those who are out of the “large workshops” because they have been forcibly excluded), in order to put together all the “bricks”, “tools” and “concrete” that we have designed meticulously and with patience, throughout this period of research and study, so that they do not get moldy, worn by time, by the greed of parasites; let’s donate them (let’s honor our titles of Professors, PhDs, Scientists, Researchers in the techniques and innovative practices: architecture and design, intelligent and digital systems, sustainability and energy conservation, cultural integration, prevention and implementation measures in the impact of earthquakes, floods, heavy rains, atmospheric events in general) so that OGGI, TODAY, AUJOURD’HUI, ALYAWM, SEGODNYA, AHORA, HOJE and not tomorrow, we can lay the first stone of the Research Centre: Domus XXI and the Foundation, where we will design (all and for all) the evolutive regulatory framework on the endurance of our common home, the Earth, a prescriptive design that will be sent to the legislators of each Member State of the International Community for analysis and consideration in their legislative work.
New rules that will come to unite and not to divide.
A regulatory framework whose task will be to recompose, through the dialogue between different cultures and ideologies, the unity of the International Community that unfortunately was shattered by the experience of recent events; so this regulatory framework will have as its main purpose that of teaching the civic virtues to present and future generations: in primis, Love for our common home, the Earth, respect for the institutions, for our parents and family, for the society, dedication to work with a spirit of sacrifice, charity (towards other human beings and living beings), piety (towards other human beings and living beings), humanity, humility, obedience to IUSTITIA and VERITAS, and then as other general purpose that of providing ethical advice (legacy of the Great Universal Sages) useful for our short – long trip: a trip called life.
New rules which must look back to the past not in a negative but positive way, interpreting the previous events retroactively and with erga omnes effects in order to have a new vision that will help future generations.
The vision of this new regulatory framework should be the basis of the new civil society; its principles and its values should gradually take root, long-term, in the collective consciousness of the entire International Community. The legal and “pedagogical” value of these new rules has to be a foundation of democracy globally, in which man can find the basis of the “under the Charter of the United Nations virtues”: freedom, social justice, solidarity, tolerance, honesty and transparency in public life around which not only the Organization of the United Nations was built but also the “Home of World Citizens”: the International Community as a place of growth of the person and of fundamental liberties.
This new regulatory framework and its actions must serve also to bring to life the universal legacy of the great jurists of the history of Humanity in every corner of the Earth, among them the Lawyer of those most in need, of the weakest people, a “Poet of Social Justice”, the Italian Piero Calamandrei whose heritage combines the highest values of the “rule of law” with the new perspectives of a “welfare state” committed, firstly, to promote the dignity of the human person, equality and social rights. An ambassador bearing the sign of “Justice”: of that constant and passionate reminder of a “right law” and of a “due process” that Calamandrei, since his early years, had chosen as the first of the objectives to be pursued in its mission as a jurist and in his experience as a citizen.
A justice – Calamandrei writes in one of the most intense passages of his “Eulogy of Judges” – that “there is; (that) there must be; (that) I want it to be. And you, judges, have to listen to me”.4
Actually, Judges, who are in every corner of the planet, unfortunately this is a time of darkness, and Justice and above all Peace are needed.
There is lack of IUSTITIA and VERITAS, in fact, with relation to the human rights, in some Member States of the International Community some citizens are not guaranteed their human right to development referred to by Article 1 of the Declaration of the General Assembly of 1986; yes, that inalienable human right by virtue of which every person and all peoples are entitled to participate in, contributing and enjoying economic, social, cultural and political development, and in which all human rights and fundamental freedoms can be fully realized. That human right that also implies the full realization of the right of peoples to self-determination including the exercise of their inalienable right to full sovereignty over all their wealth and natural resources.
Today, Judges, justice is needed because there are vile beings who unfortunately have infiltrated some institutions of some of the Member States of the International Community; yes, you guessed it right, in those “less virtuous” States, in which the inability to love reigns, in which the word humanity has been erased from the vocabulary, there, there isn’t any longer the sense of obedience to IUSTITIA and VERITAS, much wickedness was inflicted on the people, so much that it cannot be listed in this document. Here it is enough to recall a “historic” passage from the Sermón de Adviento written by eight members of the Ordo Fratrum Praedicatorum, the so-called Dominicans Order in America, a speech given in 1511 on the island La Española (by a friar, Antonio de Montesinos), in order to make you understand, through these universal and ad hoc words, the reason of the suffering and of the bitter tears of our brothers:
“I have risen here to give you this message, I am the voice of Christ in the desert of this island, and so I ask for all your attention. Especially the attention of your heart and of your senses. Listen to this voice; this voice will be to you the newest, the harshest and the most lasting voice that you have ever heard, more dreadful than you ever thought to hear (…) All of you are in mortal sin and in sin you live and die every day, for the cruelty and tyranny by which you abuse these innocent people. Tell me, by what right or by what interpretation of justice do you keep these Indians in such a cruel and horrible servitude? By what authority have you waged such detestable wars against people who were once living so quietly and peacefully in their own land, where you have consumed infinite numbers of them with death and ruin? Why do you keep them so oppressed and exhausted, without giving them enough to eat or curing them of the sicknesses they incur from the excessive labor you give them, and they die, or rather you kill them, in order to extract and acquire gold every day? And also, which would be your guarantees that these human beings are indoctrinated and know God (…) solemnize holidays and Sundays? Tell me, what is your justification? Are these not human beings? Don’t they have rational souls? Are you not obliged to love them as you love yourself? Do you not understand this? What do you not want to listen to? Why have you fallen into such a lethargic sleep? Are you asleep? Know for certain, in the state in which you are and live now, you cannot be saved any more (…)”
Now, what is reported here is what happened in 1500s; unfortunately in the XXI century, such a situation is still revived in some countries, where there are many evils inflicted to the weaker sections of these societies, thence, Judges, today the heart of the creative, researching, dreaming and also romantic ants is very sad but it keeps livening up thanks to the hopes emerging from the melody “Va Pensiero” of Nebuchadnezzar by Giuseppe Verdi. And, even if their heart is sad, they are not asleep, they keep working and smiling, with hope and with “the sun, the music, the poetry” they jealously preserve in their souls and that no coward being will ever be able to take away. Never and never, since Love always wins in the end.
You know, Judges, that the contemporary times experience a growing, consistent and continuous social fragmentation that endangers “every foundation of social life” and thus “it ends up putting us against each other to defend our interests.”6
For this reason the present time invites us to privilege actions that can generate new activities in society and lead to important and positive changes. We cannot afford to put off “some agendas” to the future. The future calls for immediate and courageous decisions, critical and global, facing global conflicts that increase the number of the excluded and needy people.7
Today there is an urgency to listen to the appeal of the citizens of the world, and particularly of those most vulnerable citizens, victims of the high cost that had to be paid to heal the wounds caused by the economic and social crises, those citizens whose fundamental rights have been violated and they are now asking for help to the organs of justice to rebuild the trust in the institutions – trust that they have lost. There is an urgency to receive fast and efficient administration of justice, giving a greater weight to the authority of the judges in front of some arbitrary governments in some Member States of the International Community, that ask again, to get back the trust in the autonomy and professionalism of the judges.
These “painful appeals” come from the weaker sections of the society and we listen to them as a scream (a great shout, that has stuck in our minds like that painting by Munch) at global level, mainly focusing on the topic “law and economics”, or “its rightful balance and equilibrium” as examined by the studies of the Vice President emeritus of the Italian Constitutional Court Prof. Enzo Cheli Il giudice delle leggi. La Corte costituzionale nella dinamica dei poteri, sull’operato delle Corti8, in which this balance is analyzed in a very detailed way and it constitutes an enormous challenge to the coherence and foresight not only of legislators and rulers, but also of those to whom the Constitutions, globally, entrust the difficult task of ensuring, in all circumstances, the compatibility of laws with the fundamental principles on which regulations rest.
So today, it is necessary to implement that precious legal and forensic legacy (the profession of the lawyers, prosecutors, judges, their noble ministry aimed to protect the rights of citizens and cooperate with their intelligence and their knowledge to the proper administration of justice) to which refer both Giuseppe Zanardelli in his work L’avvocatura (edited recently by the Italian Constitutional Court judge Giuseppe Frigo, L’eredità giuridica e forense di Giuseppe Zanardelli alle soglie del XXI secolo)9 and Piero Calamandrei in his work Elogio dei giudici. Scritto da un avvocato, in which the author lays special emphasis on the subject of the commonality of “parallel lives”: “The secret of justice is in a growing humanity, and in a growing human closeness between lawyers and judges in the fight against pain”.10
In this XXI century we need courageous judgments and Judges that contribute – in this climate that is of generalized distrust especially for the most vulnerable citizens of the world – to give a “cultural persuasion” and a “sense of direction” concurring to the growth of the general protection level of social rights internationally. This context also includes the protection of “the right to the family”, requested by the citizens of the world, in order to realize their life conditions, which are essential to the full development of the family, the fundamental cell of society.
It is necessary that the Judges activate – especially in the “less virtuous” countries – guarantee mechanisms arranged with the aim of keeping the framework of human rights globally; they must be activated in different Courts and Constitutional Courts, neutral bodies, representative of the entire national and international context. So that the cornerstone of sovereignty – formally referred to the people – is sought in the text of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; in the Convention on the Rights of the Child; in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women; in the European Social Charter; in the European Convention of Human Rights; in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (the so-called Nice Charter) and finally in the Declaration on the Right to Development of 1986; all international legal instruments surmounting and binding not only the set of public authorities but also the people, while the closing element of the system able to exercise the “right to the last word” is to be sought in the presence of a system of constitutional justice11 built around a formal judicial organ and with powers “politically” relevant as aimed at neutralizing those acts of expression of the political sphere (and, first, the acts of the legislative power) against the human rights framework.
In a few words the Judges, in every corner of the Earth, as well as all of us – “travelers” on this “intense trip” that is life – will be able to mix two main ingredients of their and our work: “Love and Poetry”.
They will have to make us “fall in love” through their pronouncements if they wish to “conquer our hearts”. From their “judgments factories” and particularly from their “chimneys”, every day “white smoke”12 rising in the sky and saying HABEMUS IUSTITIA and VERITAS must come out.
So, in a few days, we will fall in love with them deeply, because they will light up a hope in our soul, ahope especially for all those brothers who have been injured on their journey.
For us this will be the most beautiful smile and message to receive from them along our journey.
So, Judges of every corner on the Earth: We all should not be afraid of love and remember that – as Pio from Petralcina, born Francesco Forgione, Italian priest of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, said in his daily works of mercy – always, always, but always, Love with Love you pay!13
Now, the logic and necessary assumptions to adequately protect the family and its rights, are the object of study, of this research; they are: the “right to housing”, which is also the chronological prerequisite for the full exercise of the “right of protection” against poverty and social exclusion, for individuals and families; the “right to privacy” and any person’s “right to inviolability of his home”. Rights that cannot be protected in any way if human beings are forced to live on the streets.
In fact, for sure we cannot think that the dignity and integrity of the family unit can be safeguarded if the person is confined in very sad and desperate conditions as the ones immortalized by the movie The Pursuit of Happiness (the title refers to the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America, as written by Thomas Jefferson 1743-1826, which lists the inalienable rights of man: the protection of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness), 2006, directed by Gabriele Muccino, that tells the story of Chris Gardner, a millionaire entrepreneur, who during the early eighties of the last century lived days of intense poverty, with a dependent child and without a home where to raise him.
And even worse, we cannot certainly think that the dignity and integrity of the family unit can be safeguarded if humans are relegated to a suburb of the City, in a “shack” or “hovel”, in conditions of promiscuity, as told mercilessly, with all their miseries, moral and material, by the Italian film Brutti, sporchi e cattivi, 1976, (winner of the award for best director at the 29th Cannes Film Festival) directed by Ettore Scola.
So, the international legal building of the institutions, that are proposed today (improvable as any other human works and, at the same time, necessary) can be a pledge of a safe and happy future for present and future generations.
It will be, if the representatives of the States set aside sector interests and ideologies serving the common good.
This is desirable, so that in this International Community, all its member States and each of its Judges, always render an effective service to humanity, a service that respects diversity and that can strengthen, for the common good, the best of each nation and every citizen who will be recognized in primis two rights: “THE RIGHT TO DREAM” and “THE RIGHT TO BE HAPPY”. Therefore, we can conclude this introductory stage, claiming the sacred right of an Ant – an Ant always faithful to IUSTITIA and LOVE (proudly Mexican-born, rather Aztec, because born in wonderful Venice mēxihcah: Mēxíhco-Tenōchtítlān, today Mexico City) – to dream gently in its náhuatl language:
«Neuatl, nej- / nikpia / se / youaltetsauitl, kochistli / ma / mochintin, noceti / no…uan / iknimej / y, inik sempoalchikueyi machiotlajtoli iuik kaxtilmachiotlajtololistli / imin / senyelistli/ ueuetke/ kokoxki, kokoxkatl/ siuaj /okichtin, tlakamej /atle / tekitl / akuali, amokuali /milpixki, milkitki, ixtlauatlakatl, miltlakatl, tlakauali / iknotl, motolinki/ auikyani/ moneki, chikuauki/ choloani / iuik, ik, mani, kopa, iuikpa / mochi, nochi / semanauak, semanauatl / amo / ik, mani / melauak, mimatki / a, inik se machiotlajtoli iuik kaxtilmachiotlajtololistli / kali, chantli / iukayotl / mekayotl, mekatlakayotl / ik, ipampa / tlatsitskili / ka / iknimej / nik, pampa / teasi / imin / youaltetsauitl, kochistli / choloakoyan / tonali, totomilistli, tonalistli, tlatotonilotl /tlanaliuilistli / iuik, ik, mani, kopa, iuikpa / se / kali, chantli / ma / mana, mati, niktlalia / ojtli / kopa, nauak, uik, teuikpa / pakiliskayotl, kisempakkayotl, yolchiualistli / neuatl, nej – / nikpia / se / youaltetsauitl, kochistli / Domus XXI».14
“I have a dream: that all human beings, particularly those who are in need, the Elderly, the Children, the seriously Ill, the Disabled, the Paterfamilias, the forced Unemployed, the Precarious Workers, the Peasants, the Marginalized, the Forgotten people thence invisible, those in extreme poverty conditions, the forced Migrants, Refugees for War and Violence reasons in any corner of the Earth, will one day live in an International Community in which they are not excluded from the right to have a decent home, respectful of the environment and of any other living being. Excluded for reasons of race, nationality, religion, social status, but supported by their brethren so that they, too, can reach one of their dreams, perhaps the “master dream, carrier of the other dreams”: the shelter, the warmth and the serenity of a home, where from the entrance door, the precious and bright tracks in the colors of the rainbow, can be glimpsed: the tracks that lead to a place called Happiness. I have a dream. DOMUS XXI, today!”