“Despite the pandemic, we have managed to achieve the highest rate of homeownership and the shortest social housing waiting list in history.” This was declared by Prime Minister Robert Abela as he was presiding over the launch of Malta’s new Affordable Housing Foundation.
Flanked by Malta’s Archbishop Charles J Scicluna and Social Accommodation Minister Roderick Galdes, the Prime Minister explained that the setting up of this foundation is another milestone in Malta’s robust social housing system. A system which is now designed to offer different options according to one’s means.
The Foundation’s aim is to strengthen the supply of affordable housing through initially low-rate rental projects for the low-to-middle-income market.
The Prime Minister emphasised that housing cannot be left solely in the hands of the private sector or the State, but it is essential to have a collaboration between different partners, including the Church, on the design and implementation of the housing policy.
The Affordable Housing Foundation will allow the Government and the Church to share their resources, and create another layer of housing which caters for those falling between the social housing group and the open property market.
This is a project of Social Justice in practice – Archbishop Charles J Scicluna
The Government has committed a yearly contribution of €300,000 for 25 years, as announced in this year’s Budget. On its part, the Church will be transferring a convent in Ħal Kirkop by emphyteusis, which will be welcoming its first residents in due course.
The Prime Minister said that this Government’s guiding principle is that everyone should have the opportunity to achieve their aspirations and to turn their dreams into reality.
He referred to Eurostat’s data which show that Malta’s 82% home ownership rate puts us on top in Western Europe, with the European average set at less than 70%. He added that since 2013, more than 45,000 families became home owners. Moreover, the rate of single parents who own property has shot up to 70%.
This, added the Prime Minister, is the result of an unprecedented number of schemes, including the first-time buyer scheme, the rent reform, the equity sharing scheme, the New Hope Scheme and social loans, the 10% deposit assistance and the strong investment in social housing.
Prime Minister Abela said that the government’s door remains open for collaboration and partnership with anyone who has a worthwhile project for our country.
On his part, Archbishop Scicluna described this project as one which will contribute to social justice in Malta and another example of a strong collaboration between Malta’s Church and State.