PN accuses government of ‘trying to run away from housing crisis’

The Opposition said that Malta was going through a housing crisis brought about by the government’s immigration policy

PN MP Ivan Bartolo (inset) criticised government for not building any social housing units in the past five years and ongoing works will only deliver new units in two years' time
PN MP Ivan Bartolo (inset) criticised government for not building any social housing units in the past five years and ongoing works will only deliver new units in two years' time

The Nationalist Party has accused the government of ‘creating a housing crisis’ through its policy of favouring mass immigration.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the PN pointed to various media reports in recent weeks, which it said confirmed the government had no plan on immigration.

Among the most important observations from such reports, the PN said, was the fact that it appeared that the minimum rent today has risen to €500-a-month. Furthermore, it said that reports of people sleeping in cars or garages were a constant reminder of how much some people were struggling.

The PN also noted that half the people being housed by NGOs were migrants.

READ MORE: First social housing units to be available in two years’ time

It also pointed to what it said was an admission by the new Housing Authority CEO, that the government had not done enough on housing.

The PN said that the fact that the population had increased by an average of 10,000 a year between 2014 and 2016, and by 15,000 in 2017, meant the government was growing the economy through a larger population, rather than increased production.

“Despite this, the government is making no long-term plans on the effect immigration is leaving on the wages of Maltese workers, traffic, infrastructure, prices, rents and the environment among others,” the PN said, adding that the government had been promising an improvement in the housing sector for four years now.

It said that in five years, there had not been one housing project completed.

“The Labour government must start addressing problems it has created itself through its immigration policy which it has inflicted on Maltese and Gozitan people who are today having to face rents going up to €900,” the PN said.

Labour reaction

The Labour Party said the government was working to solve the crisis it inherited from previous PN administrations that allowed waiting lists for social housing to be created.

The PL insisted the €110 million to be invested in the construction of social housing units in six different localities was the first serious investment in the sector for decades.

While acknowledging the new difficulties arising from a successful economy, the PL said government was committed to find solutions. "We have to capitalise on success and propose new solutions rather than engage in the politics of fear like the PN," the party said.

More in National

Get access to the real stories first with the digital edition

Subscribe