How the Minister for Social Housing is coercing private citizens to do his department’s job
This article discusses the unfair rent laws. To familiarize yourself with the topic and understand how a group of citizens is being unfairly targeted by the Government of Malta, head over to https://www.alanbonnici.com/2021/06/maltas-unjust-rent-laws.html.
On the 5th of June, Social Housing Minister Roderick Galdes proudly reported that since 2017 the number of people on the waiting list has gone down by 42%. That is a great achievement. Over a 5-year period, almost 1,400 persons are no longer on the Social Housing waiting list. What an achievement!
One must compliment the Government's efforts that saw 160 families taking up social loans in order to purchase properties. This was done through the Home Assist scheme.
Why is the effort to help persons become homeowners not applied equally to those in pre-1995 rental properties?
Another initiative to bring down this number, according to minister Galdes, was to implement measures to reduce the number of families that would be eligible for social housing. As the standard of living of such persons improves above a certain threshold, they are struck off the list.
It really sucks when the Government uses one metric for properties it is providing yet uses a completely unfair yardstick for those who are living in private properties that are supported by private citizens. These targeted landlords, many of whom were forced and tricked into renting out properties at rates set decades ago, are not able to evict a person if their standard of living improves above a particular threshold.
Minister Galdes said that over 800 units would soon be made available to people on the Social Housing list.
Why does the government not use this stock of houses to vacate pre-1995 rented properties that belong to private citizens? In all probability, this is done because abusing the rights of private citizens is less sexy than being able to issue press releases with apparently very good numbers.
Housing Authority CEO Leonid McKay said that his department was working to eliminate any abuse of social housing. He added that these vigilant actions led to several houses being recovered.
Why can’t pre-1995 rent owners be able to evacuate in an efficient and speedy manner those tenants whose standard of living goes above the same threshold as those being used by the Housing Authority?
The bottom line is that Minister for Social Housing Roderick Galdes is conveniently hiding the true scale of the problem. He needs to add 10,000 people to the numbers he has quoted. That is the true size of the social picture that exists with respect to the property situation in Malta.
Minister Galdes is doing nothing to highlight the fact that, mirroring every individual living in the ridiculously low rent properties, there is a victim of social injustice who is being forced to sponsor and maintain a property.