How can Milan be a university town if you can't find a home?

From Polimi, 5 concrete proposals for Milan to be implemented in 18 months the "STUDMIHOME" project wants to help students find decent housing

In 2023, the Polisocial Awards contest (to find out what it is about, see here) identified and selected five research projects to be funded with the 5x1000 Irpef donations, thanks to all the Alumni who decided to allocate them to Politecnico di Milano.

The researchers started in November and will work for 15 months to frame situations of gap and need in certain neighbourhoods of the city of Milan. At Politecnico, the 5x1000 contributions are usually invested in projects which can be implemented in the short term while aiming to be replicable and have an effect in the long term; they are generally case studies that concretise solutions studied in larger projects and allow students and researchers to put into practice what they have learnt. They are:



Milan is a University City. It has dozens of university centres and hosts 185,000 students per year. It ranks first in Italy in terms of number of University Departments. Every year, Milan hosts over 63,000 out-of-town students from all over Italy and the rest of the world. However, it also has another, less virtuous record, as it leads the 2023 ranking of the most expensive cities 2023. And how much does it cost to live in Milan as a student? Will Milan really realise its potential as a University City, or will it just become a ‘city for the wealthy'?

The STUDMIHOME's research team addresses this crucial issue in order to reduce the discrimination and vulnerability young people often have to face, as especially in the case of foreign or less affluent students. And what’s more, Milan attracts students from all over Italy and the world, but its attractiveness is undermined by the high cost of living, high rents and the difficulty of finding decent and sustainable housing solutions. For Milan, losing attractiveness for students would mean losing an important resource for that innovation that makes it a pool of excellence from which businesses in the area draw most of their skilled labour, and this would impoverish its industrial fabric. In short, if a solution is not found, we all lose out.

STUDMIHOME involves Politecnico’s students in a research project aimed at understanding housing demand and supply and also to foster public engagement and public action. The ultimate goal is to develop and test a new service at Off Campus Nolo. This service will help students to find decent housing solutions, and will provide them information and legal advice, practical support and guidance to University services.