AD: urgent state intervention in rent market required

All vacant properties together would cover 20 times the size of Valletta, according to Alternattiva Demokratika

Alternattiva Demokratika has called for an urgent intervention by the state in the rent market.

Addressing a press conference in Valletta, AD deputy chairperson Carmel Cacopardo argued that the number of vacant properties has probably reached 80,000, which – on a national level – would mean that 31.8% of residential property on the island is vacant.

“If you had to put all these properties together, it would result in a stretch of land, 20 times the size of Valletta,” Cacopardo said.

Taking Valletta as an example, Cacopardo said that the city’s rehabilitation has been “a works in progress” for years. He said, that social infrastructure challenges were not met whilst the works concentrated on the physical rehabilitation of large buildings, whilst smaller one were left in a state of abandonment.

“At the same time, construction has continued unabated, adding further to the problem.”

The Green Party said that both PN and PL have ignored the issue. AD proposed that the number of permits to be issued should be determined by the number of vacant properties in each locality.

“It’s high time that the situation is addressed seriously,” Cacopardo said, adding that the AD’s electoral manifesto addresses this.

The Green Party said that the waste that was vacant property was accentuated by the number of people who don’t have a decent roof over their heads.

“It is evident that the rent market is not functioning properly and the state needs to intervene,” he said.

AD spokesperson and candidate Mario Mallia pointed out that even properties with structural damages were being sold for high prices. AD urged the government to set up a committee supporting the regeneration of historic centres.