The Malta Independent 25 May 2019, Saturday

Watch: Minister tells Guardamangia residents who lost property to seek help from Housing Authority

Giulia Magri Thursday, 25 April 2019, 11:30 Last update: about 30 days ago

Home Minister Michael Farrugia told residents who lost their property when the block of apartments they resided in collapsed on Wednesday to seek assistance from the Housing Authority if they need shelter.

If they do not have any family or friends they can stay with, they should seek assistance from the authority for temporary alternative accommodation. If no government housing is available, then they can stay in hotels as happened in the past, he said after a visit to the site when a block of apartments sitting next to a site which is being excavated collapsed.

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The minister did not say if the government is prepared to financially assist the families whose apartments were destroyed.

“I'm here to meet the residents to make sure that they are safe and to deal with their present needs,” he told the media.

Farrugia spoke to both contractors and residents at the site to understand better the situation. He said that the main priority is to ensure the safety of the residents.

“Presently they are faced with multiple needs, not only a question of housing but some of them are foreign so they have their documentation (under the rubble) which is a priority.”

“I was not informed that there had been any problems, until I spoke to residents and contractors. I need to see who carried out inspections and reports on this site which was noted as safe.” He said that the procedure should not be rushed and allow all investigations to take place to know exactly what happened.

He stressed that the first priority is the safety of the residents and that there is no further danger to those residing in the area.

Regarding the concerns of those residents of the building on the other side of the gaping hole, Farrugia said that first there needs to be a whole evaluation with architects whether there is a risk of safety or not before they can take any steps.

When questioned whether there is an issue of enforcement, Farrugia said that this falls under the responsibility of the Occupation of Health and Safety Authority. “It is important that workers take care at the workplace for themselves and for those around them.”

 

 

 

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