Informations and abstract
Keywords: Renters; Housing Benefits; Poverty; Adequacy; Effectiveness; Distributional Effects.
Nowadays, in Italy the housing discomfort is a phenomenon closely linked to the condition of renter and the problem of poverty. In 1998, with the Law 431, a system of monetary transfers for the payment of rents was introduced to protect families living in distress. This paper provides an assessment of the adequacy, effectiveness and distributional effects of the contribution to the payment of rents, through the experience of the Region of Tuscany, also in comparison with other Regions. The analysis highlights the limits of this measure: the insufficiency of available resources with respect to needs, even though only a part of the potential entitled families applies; the inconsistencies in the definition of housing poverty, on which the measure is based, and the lack of selectivity in the means-testing criteria and in the satisfaction of the requests. Alternative schemes of the measure would allow, in absence of budgetary constraints, to better target families in housing poverty and, with the same resources, to concentrate the scarce funds on families in conditions of extreme poverty.