Only 10 newly-built social housing units allocated since Labour came to power in 2013

The waiting list for social housing accommodation stands at 2,920

Roderick Galdes (centre) is the new housing minister in Robert Abela's Cabinet
Roderick Galdes (centre) is the new housing minister in Robert Abela's Cabinet

Only 10 newly-built units were distributed for social housing purposes since 2013, Housing Minister Roderick Galdes told Parliament.

He was answering a parliamentary question by Opposition MP Ivan Bartolo on the number of new residences allocated for social housing since the Labour Party came to government six years ago.

Answering a separate question, Galdes confirmed that the waiting list for social housing numbered 2,920 by 15 January.

This represents an increase on the number of applicants in March 2013, when Labour came to government. At the time, there were 2,800 applicants waiting for social accommodation.

The government has repeatedly come under fire from its own supporters for failing to provide social accommodation units.

There are several projects underway to construct new units but progress has been slow.

In a sign of the importance the government under Robert Abela intends giving this sector, the Prime Minister hived off housing into a separate ministry, the first time in 25 years that this has happened.

Galdes, who was appointed housing parliamentary secretary after the 2017 election, was promoted to minister and put in charge of the sector.