Even before the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, Italy had the second largest Ukrainian population in all of Europe. As a result of the Russian invasion, there have been even more in the past few weeks and months – tens of thousands of people have fled from Ukraine across the Italian border.
Not all war refugees can be accommodated by host families – in order to be able to accommodate all vulnerable people, the Italian authorities have now resorted to special measures and special properties: houses that originally belonged to the mafia.
The Italian state currently owns almost 40,000 properties that were once in the hands of the mafia. It is a real estate portfolio worth more than 300 million euros managed by a national agency that manages the seized organized crime assets.
Families were immediately quartered in some houses that could be used immediately and were empty, while others were being renovated at the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine. These houses are to be made available to families who have fled the Ukraine even after the renovation work has been completed.