Fondazione Opere Sociali (FOS) was was established in the late ’50s by the Cassa di Risparmio delle Province Lombarde to provide welfare services for the elderly and education for young people. In recent years its activity has been linked to the management and enhancement of the student residence of via Monneret De Villard a Milano.
At the beginning, in response to emerging social issues, the goal was to allocate some buildings as workers’ residency. Later, with the increase in university enrollments, special attention was also given to university students living in fragile conditions. To cope with their needs, the aim was to establish a special University Center for the most deserving students.
The purpose of the Foundation, as per its Statute, was “the professional qualification and the cultural and moral elevation of the workers” with the possibility of widening the field of intervention by carrying out “activities in favour of other categories of people deserving assistance”, also through “the organization of workers’ residencies, professional education courses, libraries, sports fields, etc.”.
The Foundation fully achieved its goals by proceeding with the creation of a University Center in Milan and seven social centres between 1962 and 1969 located in Novara, Monza, Varese, Lissone, Magenta, Brescia and Cernusco. The financial resources of the Foundation were substantially represented by the annual disbursements of the Cassa di Risparmio delle Provincie Lombarde.
Towards the end of the 70s, however, there was a change of direction. On the one hand, the management of the centers was no more sustainable; on the other, given the socio-economic changes that have taken place over the years, the social centers had exhausted the function for which they had been created. After having reduced considerably its scope of action, the Foundation continued to pursue its goals through the University Center of Via Monneret de Villard in Milano that received – free of charge and on the basis of an open competition – students from the Universities of Milan.
Later, since the building required significant renovation work, FOS sold its surface rights in 2013 to FHS for 33 years and, as part of the same operation, in 2016 it sold the remainder interest to Fondo Immobiliare di Lombardia, managed by InvestiRE SGR SpA that, at the same time, acquired the surface rights from FHS.