Civic monitoring report
Completion works of 14 houses in the Gesù locality in the municipality of Crotone

Sent on 11/03/2024 | By Future builders team | @Futurebuil17322

What we found out

Project objectives

The project “Completion works of 14 houses in the Gesù locality in the municipality of Crotone” is funded by the European Regional Development Fund, programming cycle 2014-2020. The programmer is the Regione Calabria; the implementing actor and beneficiary is the territorial company for public residential housing in Calabria. The specific objective of the project is the reduction of the number of families, with particular social and economic fragilities, living in difficult housing conditions. As reported on the Calabria Europa portal, the project involved the construction of social housing to be leased at sustainable rates, thus pursuing the aim of increasing the availability of public residential housing units. The theme of the territorial dimension of development and cohesion policies in Calabria is of particular importance because the low concentration of urban activities and complex functions is combined with the practice of illegal construction and the degradation of public spaces. In the context of these challenges and potentials, the Region had designed an integrated territorial development policy aiming at strengthening cities such as Crotone, an urban area characterized by economic, social, and environmental problems requiring, on the other hand, actions aimed to strengthen its productive base and attractiveness.
The persistence of housing problems is evident in the increasing demand for rental support, the increase in applications for public housing, and the increase in eviction measures issued, mainly due to rent arrears circumstances. The regional housing demand is confirmed by the high number of requests for housing access support, particularly from low-income families, those with low work intensity, with minors, and often in situations of separation from their spouses. In light of the context and specific needs, the Region, through specific objective 9.4, intended to develop a system of interventions aimed at reducing the number of individuals/families in housing distress by increasing the number of social housing houses of various types available as social residential housing or facilities dedicated to specific vulnerable groups and decreasing the percentage of families in housing distress from the baseline value of 9.8% (2013) to the expected value of 8% (2023).

Foreseen activities

The redevelopment project involved the surface cleaning of existing pillars and floor slabs, the construction of the subfloor with pebbles and gravel, masonry work for the superstructure, partition walls, internal and external plastering, painting of external facades, the covering of heat insulating panels, insulation and waterproofing, installation of electrical, water, and heating systems, flooring and ceiling fixtures, external landscaping, sidewalks, and courtyard/garden entrance, and the structure for an external pergola. The project was scheduled to begin on September 29, 2015, and will end on October 10, 2019. However, despite spending €657,350.50 out of a €1,248,005.50 grant, the works were never completed. The project's process was complex, as reported in the "Financial statements for the years 2012 to 2014 of the Aterp of the province of Crotone," published in the minutes of the Calabria Regional Council on June 29, 2017. In 2008, the testing and construction of 28 housing units in Gesù area were underway. The works of the original project were contracted to the Ati Cortese-Stirparo. Due to the company's non-compliance, the contract was rescinded, and it was assigned to 3G Costruzioni of Cotronei. Considering the remaining portion of the original funding, the office prepared a preliminary project for the implementation of safety works for the 14 already built housing units, to partial completion of housing still to be built.

Project origin

The project, financed by ERDF ESF ROP Calabria, fully addressed the need for social housing buildings in the city of Crotone. The administrative procedure that has started the project is the Coherence Opinion with the contents of the Partnership Agreement for the programming of the European Structural and Investment Funds 2014/2020 and the Calabria ERDF ESF ROP 2014/2020. The housing situation in Crotone indeed presents critical elements related to poverty among segments of the population and the weakening of the function of work. As reported on the website of the Municipality of Crotone, the urban redevelopment activity in a high-crime neighborhood like Fondo Gesù was considered a priority and followed a series of meetings with residents. These redevelopment activities, as reported by the Councillor for Urban Planning in 2015, were part of a wider plan that involved an investment of over €5,000,000 by the Administration in the neighborhood, which would also include the construction of a social center. Final beneficiaries of the monitored project: Which subjects can benefit from the project outcomes or suffer its consequences? For example, the general population, service users, groups of people (women, youth, migrants). Are some types of people excluded? The beneficiaries of the project were family units, the primary recipients in the allocation of social housing units. This choice was due to the difficult housing situation in Crotone, which presents critical elements related to various phenomena, including high poverty rates among the population, the weakening of the labor function as the main channel of social integration, and the intensification of migration flows. The Fondo Gesù neighborhood is more affected than any other neighborhood in the city by limited cultural and social opportunities, with abandoned properties and public buildings that have lost their original function, almost total absence of local commercial activities, productive activities, and community spaces. Despite being located along the main connecting axis of the city, this area is characterized by a typical "island" structure, which has effectively marginalized it, despite being close to the city center.


The beneficiaries of the project were families, the main recipients in the allocation of public housing. The choice was due to the difficult housing situation in Crotone which presents critical elements related to several phenomena including the high poverty rate of the population, the weakening of the function of work as the main channel of social integration and the intensification of migratory flows . The Gesù district in the background suffers, more than any other district in the city, from the problems of limited cultural and social opportunities, with the presence of abandoned buildings and public buildings that have lost their original function, with an almost total absence of neighborhood commercial activities , productive activities and meeting spaces. This area, although located along the main connection axis of the city, is in fact characterized by the typical "island" structure, which has actually favored its marginalization, despite being close to the city center.


The buildings are located in an area of Crotone characterized by serious social distress, located between the Romani neighborhood of Via Acquabona, which has been the center of numerous judicial investigations, including drug dealing close to the city's main high schools, and Fondo Gesù, a popular area with a high crime rate, including minor crime, which strongly limits socio-economic development processes. The main urban agglomerations, even in a marginal productive context like that of Crotone, should be the engines of regional economy, by concentrating within them the higher functions and services available in the territory. Instead, this area represents one of those places where persistent problems such as poverty, housing distress, and exclusion are most accentuated and effectively limit any type of economic and social development. The most evident spatial manifestation of this phenomenon is the marginality of the neighborhood, characterized by strong and persistent criticalities in the equipment and quality of basic services, as well as conditions of neglect and social distress. In light of this background, actions should focus on the theme of urban regeneration, with the aim of promoting better housing conditions, higher energy efficiency of public buildings, and services for social inclusion as provided by Article 7 of the ERDF Regulation. However, in this area, there continues to be a significant housing distress, with the presence of asbestos on the rooftops being particularly noteworthy.


The project has not yet been completed. In 2020, as reported in the newspaper "Gazzetta del Sud", six families, taking advantage of the darkness, opened a gap in the fencing surrounding the small social housing residential complex in Via Giorgio La Pira, still under construction. Subsequently, they occupied the apartments still uninhabited because they were not yet accessible and destined for the city's needy. These buildings could not be assigned as the construction works by the company awarded the contract is still ongoing. The contract was reportedly awarded to the 2c Costruzioni, a company that later became the focus of the Glicine-Acheronte investigation by the DDA of Catanzaro. As reported in the Quotidiano del Sud in February 2024, its de facto administrator is accused of being part of an alleged business committee and bid rigging with mafia aggravating circumstances for alleged ties with the Trapasso and Megna clans and has been banned from contracting with the public administration. The works director was head of the technical service department of the Crotone district of Aterp Calabria, who is now under investigation, along because, among other things, he allegedly ensured contracts for the entrepreneur as a member of a tender commission. According to the Dia's reconstruction, which conducted this investigation, Laratta and Santilli met in the offices of the Region to discuss "judging panels that would be appointed to evaluate projects." The Aterp official is also under investigation for aggravated bid rigging. According to the panel still displayed at Gesù, he was the safety coordinator and sole responsible for the process. However, as reported in the Official Gazette of December 17, 2014, the tender envisaged a protocol of understanding signed between local authorities and the Prefecture of Crotone precisely to strengthen legality conditions. Illegal conduct seems to have prevailed instead.


The results of the project are to be considered only partly positive. A portion of the completed properties have been completed and allocated to eligible recipients, while another part of the unfinished housing units has been illegally occupied, infringing upon the rights of legitimate beneficiaries. All of this has significant repercussions because despite the existence of programs aimed at combating the increasing housing distress, the extent of the phenomenon described by the data appears to be much wider than the scope of the policies implemented, as demonstrated by the second Report on housing distress for the year 2022 elaborated by the Calabria Region, where, according to Istat data, 10.7 percent of the population is over 75 years old.


The only negative aspect found is the failure to complete the works, which has led to the unlawful occupation of the housing units.


The completion of public housing units in a challenging district as Fondo Gesù is crucial for the creation of urban regeneration that considers housing as an asset for a city based on social justice. An extremely significant factor is the constant interrelation between the municipal administration and the residents. Many public meetings were organized to present the urban regeneration project, during which all the project details were explained and the residents' needs were collected. By listening to and addressing the citizens' and various associations' concerns, the administration aimed to implement short- and long-term urban policy actions to meet the needs of the resident population by activating territorial regeneration processes even in the outskirts, with a view to local development and the enhancement of productive and cultural activities, as an incentive for the recovery and revitalization of the city's economy.


The failure to complete the project is further negative signal in one of the most challenging areas of the city of Crotone, which, as revealed by the statements of many citizens, strongly feels the need for legality. The housing units in Via Giorgio La Pira are located between the Romani district of Via Acquabona, notoriously at the center of numerous judicial investigations for drug trafficking, usury, arms trafficking, and Fondo Gesù, a high-crime area including minors crime. Completing the housing units and allocating them would have meant providing a response not only to the housing distress in the poorest province in Italy, as reported by Italia Oggi, but also to the residents' need for security and social justice.

Ideas and solutions

The revival of urban regeneration projects by the current municipal administration of Crotone, as supported by Mayor Vincenzo Voce and Urban Planning Councilor Giovanni Freco, could once again prioritize the Fondo Gesù district in social housing policies, especially utilizing funds from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR). Additionally, there is a need to implement not only partnership agreements and memorandums of understanding, which have already been implemented but proved ineffective, but also civic monitoring actions promoted by the municipal administration on social housing, as a tool for understanding and, above all, transparency regarding a phenomenon in which all involved ensuring maximum clarity on rules and procedures, especially following the recent judicial investigations involving the Artep, which manages 46.46% of public housing units in this region of Calabria.

Investigation method

How was the information collected?

  • Web research
  • Visit to the project's location, documented by pictures or videos
  • Interview with the users and/or final beneficiaries of the intervention
  • Interview with people responsible for the project's implementation
  • Interview with political leaders

Antonio Anastasi, journalist
Vincenzo Voce, major of Crotone

Main questions

1. The project we are monitoring involved renovation works for 14 public residential buildings in via Giorgio La Pira. The contracting company turns out to be 2C Costruzioni at the center, together with Aterp officials who had important roles in this project, of the Glicine-Acheronte investigation of the Catanzaro DDA. What are the accusations made by the DDA? (Antonio Anastasi, journalist)
2. We are monitoring a public housing project in via Giorgio La Pira, between Acquabona and Fondo Gesù, two of the most difficult areas of the city of Crotone, areas that are in a state of degradation and abandonment. For this reason we would like to ask you what policies your administration will implement with respect to the atavistic state in which the suburbs of our city find themselves. (Vincenzo Voce, major of Crotone)

Main answers

1. The company 2C Costruzioni was involved in the investigation that last June led to the Glicine-Acheronte operation conducted by the Catanzaro DDA against the Crotone clans. Its de facto administrator is accused of having been part of an alleged business committee and of bid rigging with mafia aggravating circumstances due to alleged links with the Trapasso and Megna gangs and has been banned from negotiating with the PA. Is among the recipients of a notice of conclusion of the investigations; he would have been one of the reference entrepreneurs of the former regional councilor, presumed dominus of the committee of affairs, with regard to the contracts of the Asp and Aterp of Crotone. The manager of the technical service of the Crotone district of Aterp Calabria, is under investigation because, in addition to being part of the business. According to the reconstruction of Dia, which conducted this line of investigation, met in the offices of the Calabria Region to discuss "judging panels that would be appointed to evaluate the projects". Aterp official was also charged, again for aggravated auction rigging.
Despite this, the TAR of Calabria annulled, at the end of last year, the contract for the seismic adaptation and expansion works of the primary school of Sellia Marina, in the Catanzaro area, which had been awarded to PF Costruzioni of Francesco Guzzi, with registered office in Botricello, and ordered the takeover of the victorious appellant, which is 2C Costruzioni, whose registered office is in Santangelo Romano.
The contract, for the amount of just more than one million euros based on the auction price, was awarded last March by the single purchasing body of the municipalities of Botricello, Cropani and Sellia Marina to PF Costruzioni. However, 2C Costruzioni had asked the TAR to cancel the tender. The TAR initially agreed with the PF, confirming the award but, in the second instance, the Council of State accepted the precautionary request and suspended the contested act. The Council of State's decision was made on 7 July, therefore a few days after Operation Glicine, which began on 27 June. Following the decision of the Council of State, the Municipality therefore suspended the works which had started about ten days ago. On 19 December, the new decision of the TAR which, in particular, quickly liquidates, for "absolute vagueness", a brief from the PF which, considering the 2C's appeal inadmissible, produced the documents of the anti-mafia investigation highlighting, among other things, that it cannot be ruled out at all that the appellant will not obtain the renewal of her registration on the white list.
The investigation papers were also sent by PF to the Prefecture of Rome, which did not take measures against 2C. After the new decision of the TAR, PF warned the Municipality of Sellia Marina and wrote back to both the Prefecture of Rome and the Ministry of the Interior and the Prosecutor's Office of Catanzaro announcing that «any act of intimidation, damage and possible attacks on the public safety of the the writer and his family members are at the head of the institutions involved." The letter from the entrepreneur Guzzi ends with bitterness: «Once again the 'Ndrangheta has won, left free in the management of public money».

2.Urban regeneration is one of the issues that my administration is most involved in. And we have been trying to do a lot in recent years. Fondo Gesù is one of the most problematic neighborhoods in the city but it is not the only one. Today it cannot even be considered peripheral because it is very close to the city center. This area includes many public residential buildings, many of which are managed directly by Aterp.
From this point of view, Crotone presents problems similar to those of many other Italian cities. Very few tenants pay the rent, just think that the Municipality collects a total amount of only one hundred thousand euros as rent, a negligible amount compared to the number of buildings occupied to the point of often making maintenance of the buildings impossible.In addition, there is the phenomenon of illegal occupation, an act that undermines the rights of poor people who really need housing. Just think that right at the beginning of my mandate some apartments in via Giorgio La Pira were occupied illegally before the renovation works were even completed. For this reason we have decided, as an administration, to focus on the urban regeneration of the neighborhoods as a whole rather than on individual buildings.