3,000 families in Cottonera and Valletta to own homes in 3 years

Parliamentary secretary Jason Azzopardi says 3,000 families will become owners of their homes within the next three years as a result of Budget 2012 measures for government-expropriated land.

Parliamentary Secretary Jason Azzopardi discussed Budget 2012 housing measures while visiting ongoing works at Auberge de France.
Parliamentary Secretary Jason Azzopardi discussed Budget 2012 housing measures while visiting ongoing works at Auberge de France.

 

While visiting ongoing works at the Auberge de France in Vittoriosa, parliamentary secretary for small business and land Jason Azzopardi explained a budget measure that would serve “social justice” by allowing families to buy their rented properties from the Housing Authority.

“This measure is not only going to result in legal and financial justice, but also social justice because around 3,000 families will finally be able to become owners of their homes over the next three years,” Azzopardi said.

The budget has allocated €1.8 million for government properties in the Cottonera and Valletta area that under the title of possession and that will be sold to residents currently renting them.

“The government had expropriated several properties after the war but these were not expropriated by absolute purchase. The government paid rent to the original owners to build what are now housing estates,” Azzopardi explained.

The funds will be allocated so the Lands Department can capitalise on the acquisition rent of around 3,000 properties that was paid over the last 50 years.  

Azzopardi said these properties will be transferred to the Housing Authority, at no cost, in order to give current residents the opportunity to purchase their homes at a fair price.

“Because the Housing Authority will not be paying for the properties which will be subsidised by the government, this is providing a golden opportunity to families to buy their homes instead of continuing to rent,” Azzopardi said.

Residents who are unable to afford the asking price will have the option to continue renting and will not suffer any consequences.

Azzopardi also praised Birgu Mayor John Boxall for the ongoing works being done to renovate Auberge de France which will house Birgu’s local council offices. Boxall said that it had been a long process to reach the current stage of renovation with delays imposed by the Malta Environment and Planning Authority and bad weather. “MEPA seriously slowed down the work progress with delays in permits and trying to make us do things to the buildings which would destroy the historical traits of the building itself,” Boxall said.

The local council office is expected to be completed by January 2012 with the help of ETC workers provided through the employment aim schemes funded by the EU and government. The renovation of the building is costing more than €2 million to complete but Boxall said that in order not to burden the government and avoid any delays, the funds were privately acquired through investments.

“It is hoped that through paid business conferences hosted in the building, the funds will be paid back and the local council building will eventually become self-maintained. Plans also include a café on the roof with a view of the harbour for visitors, both local and foreign, to utilise,” Boxall said.

 

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“MEPA seriously slowed down the work progress with delays in permits and trying to make us do things to the buildings which would destroy the historical traits of the building itself,” Boxall said. seriously??