Housing Options in Vicenza: PCS Italy

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How is Housing Determined?

NOTE: Housing options will not be determined until the sponsor arrives in Italy, completes the housing brief during in processing, and sets an appointment up with housing to determine eligibility.

  • For active duty military families, there are three possibilities for housing and a policy to determine which kind of housing you will be offered. Because the housing policy determines what type of housing you can obtain, you may not have much of a choice. Rank and number of dependents may also limit your options.
    1. The housing policy is to first fill up government owned houses in Villagio. If a Villagio unit is expected to be open soon, then there may be a possibility to be put on a wait list.
    2. If a Villagio unit is not available for your rank, # of bedroom requirements, or if you don’t have any kids, the next type of housing you will be offered is government leased.  Housing usually checks the system for all government leased units that will be available up to 30 days out.
      • If government leased housing is offered and you decline to take it, you will stop receiving Temporary Lodging Allowances and you will not receive any Overseas Housing Allowances until every government leased house in your rank/bedroom category has been filled. You would then have to pay out of pocket (without reimbursement) for your hotel and all costs associated with a private rental.
    3. If there is not an adequate number of government leased houses for your rank and number of dependents (bedroom requirements) category to choose from, then you will be offered a private rental. From there you would need to complete the steps involved in leasing a private rental.

What Happens During Your First Housing Appointment?

  • Your first appointment with housing will require a copy of your orders and your ID card.
  • The sponsor will apply for an Italian social security card (codice fiscale) which you will need for internet service, banking with an Italian bank, and setting up utilities. You will need to know your APO box number, because you will receive a temporary card within 1 week of applying. The temporary card can be used in place of the official card. The official card should arrive 2 weeks after the temporary card arrives. You can also use the receipt for the codice fiscal that you receive from the housing office to start setting up your internet.
  • Housing will go over your orders making sure that your dependent’s names are listed on them. They will ask what date (month/yr.) you received your current rank.
  • They will ask if you have pets, how many, and what size.
  • Housing will then determine if you are eligible for government owned, government leased, or private rental.

Types of Housing

Government Owned aka “Villagio”

  • Villlagio is considered “on-post” housing. Although it is not actually part of the main post, it is protected from the outside community like a normal base and requires a military ID to enter.
  • Housing on post consists of two-story duplexes and fourplexes. View a YouTube video of Villagio.
  • The schools (elementary-middle), child development center, a shoppette, and the dog park are located within Villagio.
  • Villagio tends to fill up very fast and can be quite difficult to get into. If a unit is expected to be open soon, then there may be a possibility to be put on a wait list. There are very few units for those that are higher ranking.
  • It is usually reserved for families with kids, but couples without families can also live there.
  • There is a shuttle to and from Caserma Ederle during the week, which is convenient for spouses. There is also a 1.5 mile walking path to and from Caserma Ederle.
  • Positives:
    • Safety and security are provided, so that only military ID card holders can enter. Less worry about car and house break ins occurring.
    • If you have kids that are younger than high school aged, the schools are right there!
    • Rent and utilities are taken care of for you.
    • Villagio is the only housing that offers both American 110 volt and European 220 volt electricity meaning that you can still use your American appliances without the use of a transformer/converter.

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Government Leased

  • The government rents a whole building, apartment complex, duplex, or several buildings with many units all over Vicenza. These units have already been leased by the government for a period of 10 years, which is why housing wants to fill up these first before moving onto private leased.
  • A lot of your neighbors would be military, but you would be living out in the community.
  • The government deals with the rent, utilities, and maintenance, like they would if you were living on post.
  • The size of your house (# bedrooms) may depend on your rank and the number of dependents you have.
  • You will not be able to view government leased housing until you visit the housing office on post. There is no online public viewing database.
  • Every house has been inspected and approved for Americans to live in them.
  • Positives:
    • You do not have to worry about your electricity usage, so during the summer you can keep the A/C set as low as you want and crank up the heat in the winter!
    • Other Americans will most likely live nearby
    • You still get to live out in the economy
    • There are several different neighborhoods to choose from

Private Rental

  • You select a rental from a list of houses approved by the housing department at Vicenza.
  • You will be responsible for signing a lease through housing, obtaining utilities, and dealing with a landlord.
  • You will have a limited number of visits with a taxi interpreter to see these homes. The taxi interpreter will meet you on base, drive you to the house, and interpret for you.
    • If you use up all of your free viewing with a taxi interpreter, some landlords may be willing to pick you up on base and take you to see the home. If they do not speak very much English you can ask the housing receptionists to interpret upon your return.
    • You also have the option of using a housing approved realtor. However, if you choose to sign a lease with one of the houses they show, you will pay a fee equal to the cost of one month’s rent plus 22% tax for using their services (finder’s fee).
  • You can work with housing to “negotiate” the terms of your lease. For instance if you think the rent is too high, want lawn mowing services, want the landlord to add screens to windows or other safety features you can try to negotiate that into the terms of your lease.
    • Positives:
      • Living out in the community.
      • You get to choose your house
      • You get to keep the money that is left over from your utility allowances each month.
    • Negatives:
      • You will be responsible for paying rent and utilities.

Large Appliances/Furniture

  • Large appliances: the Central Furnishing Management Office (CFMO) will provide you with any appliances that are lacking in the home for the duration of your stay. This includes dishwashers, washer/dryer, refrigerator, and stove. CFMO will also issue an AFN decoder and one transformer for the home.
  • Furniture: CFMO will provide one wardrobe for each family member and one extra wardrobe for military gear. Light fixtures, medicine cabinets, and kitchen cabinets can be provided if not already built in.
  • Temporary Appliances/Furniture: the lending warehouse can also issue appliances and furniture (beds, dressers, sofa, table, chairs) until your household goods are in transit for up to 90 days in bound and 60 days out bound. Once your HHG arrive, you can schedule a pick up day for removal.
  • Once you sign for a government or private leased rental you will set up a furnishings account to schedule delivery/pick up. A picture book is available at the CFMO to help with selections.

Tips

  • Do not have your heart set on living in one particular type of housing, if something is offered you basically have to take it.
  • Keep an open mind and be patient. Housing availability changes quite often, especially during the summer months.
  • Typical Italian homes do not have closets, storage space, screened windows, or carpeted floors. Septic systems can cause foul odors, drains clog easily, and circuits can easily overload.
  • Italian houses are not as large as American homes. Most available housing is not a stand alone house, it is usually a duplex or apartment of some kind.
  • Houses may also have narrow doorways and tight stairwells. If you have over-sized furniture, you might want to bring along a measuring tape to make sure you choose a house that has a large enough doorway/stairwell for it to fit through.
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