Since 1850, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti has been supporting the sustainable development of the country, making the most of postal savings, collected from 27 million citizens with vouchers and passbooks, and allocating them to investments for the growth of territories.
Local communities have historically benefited from this support through funding to public bodies for the construction and renovation of schools, hospitals and small and medium infrastructure as well as social housing projects. In recent years, the activities of Cassa Depositi e Prestiti in favour of the territory have seen a significant expansion to respond to new needs and requirements of citizens.
For this reason, since 2009, CDP has also committed itself to promoting and supporting the development of housing solutions accessible to sections of the population that cannot access rent at the current rates of the real estate market (single-income families, with the presence of elderly and/or disabled people), but without the requirements to access the lists of Public Residential Buildings, through Social Housing.
As part of this activity, more recently CDP has intervened in the financing of infrastructures for the training of young people, with investments in student housing to meet market demand. In a context of increasing student mobility, with 35% of university students away from home and not commuting, only 11% of the total number of beds available is covered by public offer.
The CDP Group, through CDP Investimenti SGR, has intervened in the social and student housing sector through a fund of funds, the Fondo Investimenti per l'Abitare, of which it is the reference investor, with €1 billion out of over €2 billion in financial resources.
Regarding student housing, to date the CDP Group has invested in 15 facilities, with over 5,000 beds, in Turin, Milan, Bologna, Padua, Venice, Ferrara, Rovigo and Genoa, to which Florence and Naples could soon be added.
The CDP Group’s plan is to achieve around 20 projects in the next few years, with a total investment of over €350 million, for the construction of around 7,500 beds in student residences. The interventions in Student Housing, a new asset class undergoing very rapid development in Italy, in which CDP can boast a true birth right, are located in cities with a pool of at least 10,000-15,000 students living away from home and with a proven market need.
The residences are located near the university buildings, in semi-central areas, well connected with public transport and with a full range of urban services nearby.
Their management is characterised by the flexibility of the accommodation offered with regard to the type of users and periods of stay, the possibility of renting free units in summer and the signing of lease contracts with different managers, one for the residential part and one for commercial activities, such as bars and catering services.
The residences offer smart lodgings, not only with spaces suitable for residence and study, but also common areas with a wide range of services: kitchens, laundry, facilities for sports, recreation and socialising, commercial (food & beverage, health, co-working, meeting) and cultural activities (media library, music, theatre).
The costs for students come to around €350-400/month all inclusive per bed, representing a more sustainable solution for families than renting a room or a flat on the open market.
The implementation of student residences is often part of urban regeneration operations, contributing to the liveability and social control of the neighbourhoods where they are inserted, encouraging the reunification of central and peripheral urban areas and encouraging the development of local communities.
The growth in the supply of student housing, in addition to having a significant impact on the improvement of university infrastructure, supports consolidation of the presence of universities and raises awareness of the importance of education and culture in our cities.
Among the interventions carried out, there are significant reclassifications; among them, the conversion of a complex of historic buildings in Venice, in the area of Santa Marta, which houses 650 students from the University Ca' Foscari.
Additionally, CDP has invested about €30 million through the FIA2 fund to support, together with Cattolica Assicurazioni, the development of H Campus, the largest European campus for innovation and training in the field of digital technologies, in the area of Cà Tron-Roncade, in the province of Treviso, where there are also plans to build a student residence for 250 guests.
With the 2019-2021 Business Plan, CDP has relaunched its commitment to investment in infrastructure with a high social impact, with a focus on student housing, conscious of the positive impact this has on human capital formation.
For this reason, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, which has been close to the territory for 170 years, with its contribution of experience and projects, plans to strengthen its support to the sector, generating value for local communities, to promote fair and sustainable development for the Italy of tomorrow.