Family separations exacerbate problems in social housing – Galdes

Minister for Tourism Konrad Mizzi and Parliamentary Secretary for Social Accommodation Roderick Galdes visit works at the site of the new Birkirkara housing project

Social Housing Minister Roderick Galdes revealed that family separations have exacerbated problems in social housing.

Speaking during the debate on the financial estimates for Social Accommodation, Galdes said that it was no longer poverty but family separations that were leaving an impact on social housing. These were people who need new accommodation because their marriage failed.

He said the government had just announced a budget with the largest social housing spending ever to be introduced. Galdes said that the budget for social housing this year exceed the €28 million mark. He explained that an additional €110 million were devoted to the building of 1,700 new apartments.

Galdes said that over 26,000 renting agreement were registered with the Housing Authority in the first six months since the new rent law was introduced.

On the waiting list, Galdes said that the government distributed over 1,000 apartment in the past years, bringing down the waiting list for housing to its lowest levels.

University students begging for food – Bartolo

Nationalist MP Ivan Bartolo opened the debate on the financial estimates for Social Accommodation, by saying that University and MCAST students are begging for food at the foodbanks.

He said that there were 83,000 people in Malta at risk of poverty with old middle class slipping beneath the poverty line.

Bartolo said that the death of a man found in a car in Birkirkara shows that those in need of a roof, food and basic necessities are not receiving the aid from Government.

He argued that  the Labour government is visibly tired and short of ideas and it was time for a change.

Claudette Buttiġieġ suggested that the terms and conditions of the Home Assist loan scheme, launched by government, should be changed as it was impossible to buy a property worth €140,000 in a finished and a habitable state, rendering the scheme inaccessible to the couples.

Contractors should pass on apartments to government as a thank-you token – Marlene Farrugia

Marlene Farrugia said that the building contractors should pass on a number of apartments to the government to be used for social housing as a thank-you token.

She added that in 2013, the Labour party embarked on a project to solve the long waiting list of people in need of a roof.

She reminded that former PM Joseph Muscat had committed the first €50 million deriving from the IIP scheme to social housing. Five years later, Finance Minister Edward Scicluna launched a project of €60 million, these initiatives produced no tangible results