[WATCH] €6 million to be spent on Bormla social housing

The project is one of the government's first plans 'to modernise social housing', says housing parliamentary secretary Roderick Galdes

€6 million to be spent on Bormla social housing. (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
€6 million to be spent on Bormla social housing. (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
€6 million to be spent on Bormla social housing

Restoration on social housing in Bormla will amount to approximately €6 million, parliamentary secretary for social accommodation Roderick Galdes said.

Costs will be covered by a €53 million loan from the Council of Europe and the European Investment Bank, who have agreed to fund the project at relatively low interest rates of between 1.6-1.7%.

This will be the first social housing project of the current administration, with plans "to restore other slum areas around Malta" in the near future.

“The area is particularly complicated,” Galdes said. “It’s surrounded with historical and archaeological mines. One needs to be careful about planning buildings in the area.” The local council admitted that the topography of the area also presents its own unique challenges for design.

The junior minister said he was “shocked by the state” of current social housing in Bormla, and that the government recognised the need to provide alternatives. Galdes welcomed the cooperation of local councils but said that the state “needs to move forward with plans” - whether they have their cooperation or not.

“We won’t simply be building flats and throwing people in them,” continued Galdes. “We’ve also taken the area and its residents into consideration. It's all part of our plan to modernise social housing.”

The project will see increased residential units: an old application had requested the development of 56 units and 120 garages, whilst the proposed application seeks the construction of 65 units and 115 parking spaces. The exact number of unused houses that will be demolished, is unknown.

War damaged buildings in the area will also be restored in the hopes to exploit the design proportion of the area. A childcare centre will replace one of the war torn buildings.

Triq l-Irlandizi and Hanover Hill will also be widened to allow for a new public space to be opened for residents. 6% of the project will be dedicated to the new public space.

Bormla mayor Alison Zerafa said the space is meant to encourage the incoming community to create a neighbourhood watch, which the council hopes will discourage misdemeanours happening in the area.

Forum Kommunita’ Bormliża also expressed their gratitude: “The buildings have been run down for 17 years and nothing has been done to restore them”. 

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