This paper aims to investigate the reality of buildings and apartment blocks illegally occupied by migrants. Starting from the analysis of different cases in the city of Turin, the article reflects on the social functionality of these housing strategies. Besides providing emergency solutions to the present difficulties of accessing the property market, these initiatives can serve a variety of purposes: they may be seen, not only as original strategies of social cushioning, but also as informal reception centres which serve as catalysts for migrants’ emergencies and needs. They can offer visibility opportunities for social problems, as well as places of sociability and solidarity and for the exchange of information and services. Finally, they can act as laboratories of intercultural coexistence and incubators of political demands and autonomous organization paths.
Keywords: Squat immigration, housing problems, autonomous organization, claim, cohabitation.