Citizenship programme funds to partly finance London accommodation for patients’ relatives

Contributions generated by IIP scheme to be part of €6 million Puttinu Cares fund to help acquire London premises housing relatives of patients receiving UK medical care

A project has been launched which aims to develop around 30 apartments in central London for relatives of Maltese patients, and which will be partly funded through IIP scheme contributions
A project has been launched which aims to develop around 30 apartments in central London for relatives of Maltese patients, and which will be partly funded through IIP scheme contributions

Contributions from Malta’s citizenship scheme will be part of a €6 million fund to help acquire accommodation for relatives of patients receiving medical care at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital, the government has said.

An expression of interest has been launched for the development of new accommodation units in central London, with €1 million of the funding for this coming from citizenship by investment applicants who opted to help Puttinu Cares. The National Development and Social Fund, announced by the Prime Minister earlier this year, will be contributing the remaining €5 million to the fund.

Puttinu Cares aims to provide around 30 additional apartments in central London, so that 80% of the patients that need to go the UK to receive medical assistance would be able to benefit from free accommodation and ease their minds off of logistical issues, the foundation’s CEO Rennie Zerafa and vice-president Angele Cuschieri said.

The total cost of the project is expected to be around €20 million. 

Puttinu Cares has invited UK developers to come forward with proposals for the building of the apartments, with submissions having to reach the foundation by the end of October.

A committee composed of industry experts, headed by the same foundation, will then evaluate all proposals in hand. The selected bid will be announced in the beginning of 2019, with the aim of finalising the project by 2020 at the latest.

Citizenship parliamentary secretary Julia Farrugia, who was in London for the launch of the project, said the IIP scheme - which has had its fair share of criticism by those opposed to the sale of Maltese citizenship or to the programme's criteria and level of checks - is “making a big difference in the lives of vulnerable people, and is helping noble causes which are hardly known to the public”.

“To date, IIP applicants have made around 600 donations, amounting to €3.6 million, to 99 entities, amongst them Puttinu Cares, which has received around €1 million,” she said.

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