Florence, Jennifer and her 11-month-old daughter can’t find a home: “Many owners don’t like children”

“Hello everybody! We are Jenny and Violamy little girl 11 months. We are looking for one with the utmost urgency room for rent in Florence (or also small apartment). Unfortunately many owners don’t like children and I’m really having a lot difficulty finding a place for us. I assure you that Viola is a very quiet child, she does not cry at night and does not create any disturbance !! By Sunday we will have to leave our current accommodation, so even a temporary solution of a month or two is fine! It is really urgent! ”.

It looks like a real SOS message posted a few days ago on a Facebook group dedicated to rentals private from mom Jennifer, a young lonely woman who, despite the urgency and real need, just can’t find accommodation for herself and her child in the Tuscan capital. Many comments to the post that can be read, often written by mothers who have encountered the same difficulties: “I know what you are going through. With three children I lived through the pains of hell “. And again: “We too are at the mercy of the wind to find accommodation in or around Florence and I have a seven-month-old baby”. Another mother, complaining of the same difficulties, claims she ended up living in a camper with her twelve-year-old daughter. Among the comments there are also those who tried to give a “rational” explanation to the thing, blaming the laws in force that do not protect the owners of rental properties: “An owner doesn’t care if the child gets messy or if it hurts. It is a question of legal safeguards. Nobody rents your house because they are in a good mood, whoever does it wants to earn money. If that gain is not guaranteed because the law does not protect the respect of contracts in favor of those who have children, that gain is put at risk and rather than risking an owner cuts the bull’s head, it does not matter if they are good people who would pay regularly or that they are criminals who settle in the house, do not pay and use their children as a shield to avoid eviction. This problem in the rest of the world does not exist: if a tenant does not pay, the owner does not even have to go to the court, he sends the eviction and within a month the police come to force the door with the bar. In Italy this does not happen and if there are minors at home they are processes that last years: years of legal fees, taxes, rent not received and this is to the detriment of both owners and honest tenants who cannot find a home because of the criminals. neither do they. If you do not find accommodation it is not out of malice, and it is not your fault or your child’s fault, it is the law that is wrong ”.

Mom Jennifer and her 11-month-old daughter in Florence (Photo courtesy of her mother)

Jennifer, where did she come from and what happened to her?

“I am originally from Monza, I am almost 36 years old and I have lived in Florence for some years. I was living with my ex partner, but then, when I got pregnant, she decided to leave me, or rather to leave us alone. But at the time I was working and was renting ”.

When does this date back?

“We are talking about last year, because my baby is eleven months now. My ex-partner left without recognizing his daughter, so I don’t even get financial help from her. But still, as I said, I could easily pay the rent. Shortly after, however, another misfortune happened to me: when I went to maternity leave, I was also fired. The owner told me to leave the house when the child was born, because, since the law does not protect them, they are afraid of not being able to have their home back ”.

What did he do at that point?

“I started looking for a new house to rent, but I couldn’t find anything obviously. I then called a friend of mine, and luckily she told me that some acquaintances had a room available. I managed to go there and was rented there for a few months. I felt maternity and unemployment, so I managed to pay it quietly. I went on like this until June, when the hosts needed this room and I had to leave it. And so, again, I started looking for another room, but obviously as soon as they knew I had a little girl with me, everyone pulled back ”.

Where are you staying now?

“At the moment I’m with this friend of mine, but she too needs the room in two weeks. So I’m again looking for another accommodation. I also turned to social services to look for some mother-child accommodation, but for now I am on the waiting list and the times, it seems, are not short “.

Have you found another job?

“I couldn’t even work because being alone and taking care of my daughter, I wouldn’t know who to leave the baby to. And then paying the rent, a babysitter and all the expenses would cost me too much. As if that were not enough, I cannot rely on the family of origin because she is far away and we are not on good terms “.

So soon he will be homeless again.

“Until mid-July I have somewhere to stay, then again I won’t know where to go. I’m tired of having to move house with the baby every fortnight. This situation is heavy. I am exhausted by these temporary accommodations ”.

What do you think of the fear that landlords have of renting to mothers with small children?

“On the one hand, I understand them, because in any case they should have more guarantees. On the other hand, it is necessary to distinguish, I am someone who has always paid the rent, even though I struggle to make it to the end of the month, which is why I feel abandoned to myself “.

Do you have a livelihood right now to be able to pay the rent?

“I’ve saved up some money because I’ve always worked, so I can still manage to go on for a few months. And then I hope social services will help me, at least until the child is able to go to the nursery. As far as I’m concerned, as soon as the conditions are right, I plan to go back to work “.

Do you want to make an appeal?

“My little girl and I need a roof, where we can live together without the fear of having to change accommodation every two weeks. It is an appeal that I make for myself but also for many mothers in the same conditions as me. I know many, and day after day they encounter the same difficulties as me “.

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