[WATCH] MDA proposes scheme for affordable housing in return for extra floors

Parliamentary secretary for social housing Roderick Galdes said that 149 landlords had offered their property for affordable housing since the government launched its social housing scheme less than a month ago

Staff Reporter
28 September 2017, 5:54pm
MDA president Sandro Chetcuti
MDA president Sandro Chetcuti
The Malta Developers Association has proposed a scheme whereby properties in new developments are offered at affordable prices, with developers being allowed to build extra floors in return.

The proposal is one of many being put forward by the Malta Developers Association ahead of the upcoming Budget.

Speaking during a visit to the MDA offices by parliamentary secretary for social housing Roderick Galdes, MDA president Sandro Chetcuti said that this could also take the form of a “social gain” agreement between the Planning Authority and developers that would allow a part of the latter’s revenue for social purposes.

Such an initiative could also prevent the formation of ghettos around Malta, said Chetcuti, who added that the current situation with the rental market had resulted in a situation where “a category of people where in limbo when it came to finding ways to be in a position to rent”.

Moreover, Chetcuti stressed that the minimum property investment threshold for the citizenship-by-investment scheme should be raised from its current level of €1,300 a month and was resulting in wealthy investors renting out less expensive buildings which could instead be made available to those of lesser means.

On his part, Galdes said that since the launch of the ‘Nikru biex Nassistu’ scheme – intended to encourage private owners to rent their properties at affordable rates in exchange of tax incentives – 149 applications had been received. 

The scheme had been proposed by the MDA and was officially launched by the government in the beginning of September

Galdes added that government “did not want to maintain the status quo” regarding the rent situation in Malta, and explained that the government has formed a team of experts to put forth proposals on how 1995 rent laws can be improved – such as by providing incentives for owners of empty properties to put their properties on the market”.

When asked if he thought the rental sector needed more controls, Galdes said that the government was currently looking at the various options to improve the situation.