Plans would see the sum currently spent by the government to host a migrant - around €30 a day - passed directly to a family willing to have a person living with them.
The proposal aims to ease the pressure on Italy’s immigrant centres, which are now full following the arrival of an estimated 130,000 migrants so far this year, Tgcom24 reported on Thursday.
The idea was put forward by Domenico Manzione, undersecretary at the Interior Ministry, and has won the backing of Marino in Rome.
“Together with Manzione, we have thought of a proposal that in addition to the custody of children could also see adults entrusted to families.
“[The plan could] create a situation of greater availability of reception and social integration,” the mayor said.
But the idea has been criticized by the anti-immigration Northern League (Lega Nord) party and described as an “insult to Italians” by the group’s Senate leader Gian Marco Centinaio.
“It really is a mockery, I’d adopt an Italian in difficulty. I think of the unemployed, those forced into early retirement or pensioners living on the minimum, all invisible to the government of immigrants,” Centinaio was quoted as saying.
Italy is the first arrival point for tens of thousands of migrants to Europe, with growing numbers of Syrians arriving after fleeing civil war. The majority of migrants intend to travel onward to other European countries, but under EU law are barred from doing so.
The Italian government has for months pleaded with European institutions to offer more support in managing the migrant crisis, leading to a new EU initiative being announced last month.