Homes and hope

290 families will be living in dignified housing by the end of the year.

Since January, a good number of Maltese families have started new lives in social housing developments, with a total of 129 apartments now occupied in Kirkop and Msida.

By the end of the year, the Government aims to provide 290 families with dignified housing. This serves to highlight the Government’s ongoing commitment towards improving living standards and securing a better future for residents and their children. This effort is part of a broader initiative over the last two years, with more than 400 families benefitting from government assistance in social housing by the end of this year.

To ensure fairness, the government has reclaimed keys from those no longer in need—79 in 2023 and another 85 in the first four months of 2024 — reallocating resources to those most in need. The government is also focusing on transparency and efficiency, with regular inspections and rigorous monitoring of both the apartments and their occupants. Applicants must undergo a means test, ensuring that aid reaches those genuinely in need and allowing them to access other schemes offered by the Housing Authority.

More than just offering shelter, social housing serves as a stable base for individuals and families to pursue employment, education, and maintain health, alleviating the financial stress associated with unaffordable housing. By preventing homelessness and reducing socioeconomic disparities, social housing contributes to building a more inclusive society where every individual has the opportunity to succeed. Investments in this sector are also contributing to a more inclusive society, since the housing projects are strategically located at the heart of the community.

Of course, the ultimate aim is to reduce the number of people who are dependant on social housing projects. In fact, the Government has implemented several initiatives to assist citizens in purchasing their own homes, addressing the challenges of affordability and accessibility in the housing market. Key among these is the First Time Buyers Scheme, which reduces the VAT rate on the property value for first-time buyers, making the overall purchase cost more affordable. Furthermore, the Maltese government is offering a significant incentive for first-time homebuyers, providing a grant of €10,000 spread over 10 years to help make homeownership more attainable and sustainable for new buyers.

For those facing financial constraints, there is the Equity Sharing Scheme, allowing individuals over the age of 40 to co-purchase a property with the government, which later claims a proportionate share upon sale. Additionally, the Home Assist Scheme provides subsidised loans for low and middle-income families, making home financing more manageable.

These are only a few examples. Through these measures and more, the Government is actively working to make home ownership more attainable for its residents, contributing to long-term residential stability and economic security.

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