The Malta Independent 24 January 2022, Monday

Church, government sign agreement on Affordable Housing Foundation

Friday, 14 January 2022, 12:56 Last update: about 9 days ago

Prime Minister Robert Abela has announced an agreement between the government and the Church on the running of the Foundation for Affordable Housing.

The Church will be handing over an unused property it owns to house the Foundation.

The agreement was signed by the PM and Archbishop Charles Scicluna on Friday morning in Kalkara.

Church and government will collaborate to offer social accommodation to low and medium-income families. Housing units will initially be offered for rent at advantageous prices.

The Church will be transferring the unused Convent of Saint Joan of Arc in Kirkop to the foundation, with a temporary lease of 25 years. The property is valued at €1 million.

Abela said the foundation will be able to run development and restoration schemes to complement existing social housing efforts by the state.

Having a comfortable home to live in is a basic right, the PM said, adding that 82% of the Maltese are homeowners.

Abela said over €110m have been invested in affordable housing, with the waiting list for social accommodation halved.

Social accommodation minister Roderick Galdes said the foundation would create a new supply of social housing and offer affordable solutions for a wide range of people, particularly medium-income families.

The foundation will be governed by a Council of Administrators consisting of three government representatives and three for the Church. Both government and Church are willing to put forward assets and properties for residential projects.

The government will be allocating €300,000 yearly to the foundation, for a period of 25 years.

Archbishop Charles Scicluna said the Church is determined to collaborate with the state on providing affordable housing. 

People who are not eligible for social housing but still need help to buy a home will be able to benefit from the foundation, he said.

Photos: Miguela Xuereb/Newsbook

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