Foreign workers renting bunk beds in rooms with private lockers, shared bathrooms

An investigation by sister newspaper Illum finds beds up for rent in properties in Marsa, Marsaskala, Sliema, and Ħamrun at around €150 to €400 per month

A property in Ħamrun that can host up to 10 people at €220 per month
A property in Ħamrun that can host up to 10 people at €220 per month

Sister newspaper Illum reports that on social media one can easily find numerous beds and rooms for rent at around €150 to €400 per month, which provide a snapshot of the poor living conditions that some foreign workers are living in.

The investigation revealed that some of the small rooms are being shared between several people, whilst other individuals share similar rooms in the same household.

Despite the appalling conditions in which the residents live, even as evidenced by the photos that are used to advertise these places, Illum notes that foreign workers still seek to live in them.

Information released by Parliament in January of this year shows that the absolute majority of foreign workers in our country are paid less than €20,000 per year. This is because in 2021, out of 37,688 foreign workers in Malta, more than 21,000 of them had a salary that does not exceed €15,000 per year.

The paper reported that most people who make use of these rooms come from Asian countries, mainly India and Nepal, with many of them choosing to work in Malta to support their families.

Illum was in contact with a man from Nepal who wants to live and work in Malta. He comes from a big family, and since his father is elderly, every member of the family that can work contributes to feeding the family.

For these types of workers, Malta is attractive because human resources are limited, especially in catering, construction, and healthcare.

All this led to a situation where in 10 years, the population increased by 100,000 and might need to reach 800,000 by 2040 for the economic growth to keep up its pace.

Finance Minister Clyde Caruana recently sounded his concerns on the matter and said this number adds severe pressure on the country’s infrastructure.

Illum found an advert for beds Marsa in rooms with private lockers that can host up to six people, going at €250 per month, with bills included.

A Marsa property with beds up for rent in rooms with private lockers
A Marsa property with beds up for rent in rooms with private lockers

The paper reached out to a person advertising beds for rent inside a property in Marsaskala, who disclosed that there were already six people living there, but there was still space for more.

Another property in Sliema has beds up for rent at €300 a month and hosts up to seven people. The conditions of the house leave much to be desired with dirty bathrooms and a kitchen with an old fridge.

A Ħamrun house was also advertised as hosting up to 10 people at €220 per month.