Greta Persico Cristiana Ottaviano

Living together as a way to meet the housing needs of young women with and without disabilities: A generative challenge to housing policies

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The essay is focused on a research carried out between 2013 and 2015 within a social housing project in Milan. «Casa Comune» has been open for some years for young disabled and non disabled young women: university students or workers share everyday life with co-tenants with disabilities, exchanging experiences and supporting one another. The research shows this cohabitation model is not only a context of education to diversity but also a workshop in which young women can test themselves to become adults: cohabitation turns into a physical and symbolic place in which to experiment themselves as adults also and above all because it provides a transformative learning protected environment. The project is based on the culture of cohabiting and positive interdependence, raising cultural change among young disabled women, their co-tenants - who can experience disabilities also as a resource - and their families. The outputs of our research also give an input to policy makers to think about the topic of cohabitation, considering the best practices that can offer concrete solutions to the needs of different categories of people. Our perspective is based on responsible welfare that promotes a shared interdependence and enhances vulnerabilities as opportunities to build equitable and generative solutions.


  • Housing Policies
  • Peer to Peer Education
  • Youth
  • Disabilities
  • Vulnerabilities


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