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Government outlines plans to tackle housing debts

The Gibraltar Government has drawn up tough new measures to tackle the housing rent arrears situation as both the GSD and pressure group Action for Housing weighed in on the debate.

The Government is now in the process of setting up mechanisms to collect arrears and to control the accrual of debts in future, it was announced yesterday.

Last week’s announcement that berths at the new small boats marina will not be allocated to anyone who is in arrears to the Government “is only the beginning”, No. 6 Convent Place said.

The Government will introduce legislation allowing it to pursue debtors in respect of periods longer than six years and further initiatives are being planned to enable collection of arrears and to prevent debt levels from rising in the future.

But the GSD hit back and said the government’s failure to rein in the build-up of arrears demonstrated ‘a lack of leadership and conviction’.

The Opposition called on the government to take ‘active and effective’ steps to recover the debt.

Action for Housing did not pull any punches either and said the situation was ‘an unacceptable social scandal’ that overlapped different administrations and had ‘gone on for too long’.

In a letter to Chief Minister Fabian Picardo that was released to the media yesterday, the group called for a definitive solution to the problem.


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