In Italy, beneficiaries of international protection face a severe lack of protection concerning accommodation.
LD 142/2015, implementing the recast Reception Conditions Directive, ensures accommodation for asylum seekers for all the asylum procedure, and, in case of appeal, during the judicial procedure (see chapter on Reception Conditions), but does not expressly provide rules on the accommodation of beneficiaries of international protection.
On the basis of a strictly literal interpretation of this Decree and the related Ministry of Interior Circular,1 some public administration offices consider that material conditions may immediately cease after the status recognition for those beneficiaries accommodated in government centres or in emergency reception centres (CAS), and that only beneficiaries of international protection who are accommodated in SPRAR or those who, immediately after being notified of the protection, get a place in a SPRAR project, can benefit from an additional accommodation period.
According to the SPRAR guidelines, as amended by the Ministry of Interior Decree of 10 August 2016, beneficiaries of international protection accommodated in SPRAR keep their right to accommodation for 6 additional months after the notification of the protection status and, if they move to a SPRAR project after obtaining protection, for 6 months from the entry into that project. A further extension can be authorised by MoI for another 6 months or more, based on duly motivated health problems or specific integration targets.
Unaccompanied minors are, in any case, accommodated for 6 months after their coming of age.
However, as already underlined in the section on Types of Accommodation, SPRAR represents only a small part of the accommodation system and, even if the law provides that asylum seekers be moved to it as soon as possible, the majority of asylum seekers spend all the asylum procedure in government centres or CAS.
In practice, beneficiaries notified of a protection status in CAS are strongly discriminated against compared to those who obtain or who have already obtained a place in SPRAR. Depending on the discretionary decisions of the responsible Prefectures and on bureaucratic delays, they could be allowed to stay in the reception centre a few months, a few days, or even just one day after the notification. Examples of this divergent practice have been reported across different regions:
Padova: As of 25 of January 2016, the Prefecture of Padova has instructed CAS operators to allow persons obtaining international or humanitarian protection to remain in the reception centre only for the next 24 hours after the notification of the decision. It has been reported that across the entire Veneto region, the cessation of reception measures in CAS is imposed immediately after the recognition of one of the forms of protection.
Ancona: As of 28 September 2016, the Prefecture of Ancona has given indications to CAS operators to immediately communicate the names of accommodated persons who have been granted protection, in order to place them out of the centre.
Milan: The Prefecture allows beneficiaries to stay in the centres for 5 days after notification of a positive decision on their asylum application.
Salerno: CAS allow people to wait for the receipt of the electronic residence permit before requesting them to leave the centre.
Trieste: after a meeting with the organisations involved in managing accommodation centres, the Prefecture accepted to conform to the policy of the SPRAR system, ensuring an additional 6 months of accommodation after the status notification.
In order to offer the same prospects to beneficiaries of international protection, the Ministry of Interior issued a Circular on 5 May 2016, informing that the responsible national authority for SPRAR should give priority for the admission in SPRAR projects to beneficiaries of international protection rather than to asylum seekers. Given the limited number of persons hosted in SPRAR, however, according to ASGI, the measure will not solve the lack of protection of beneficiaries of international protection.
At least, thanks to amendment of the Qualification Decree by LD 18/2014, refugees and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection have now a right to access public housing units under the same conditions as nationals.2