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Action for Housing questions Govt’s rental housing estimates

Photo by Johnny Bugeja.

Action for Housing said the Gibraltar Government’s estimates of the number of rental properties that could become available as a result of new affordable housing schemes was “excessive and far-fetched”.

The group was reacting to exchanges in Parliament last month, in which the Minister for Housing, Steven Linares, said that 161 government rental properties of varying sizes would be released as the affordable schemes became available in the coming years.

But he added that number could result in as many as four times more properties becoming availble because of a “domino effect” as government homes were released.

For each property released there could be additional movements on the housing lists as existing tenants are relocated into larger homes and in turn release smaller properties, Parliament was told.

But Action for Housing said those calculations seemed too optimistic, while the 161 properties that would definitely be released was far from impressive given there were 792 applicants on the housing waiting list as of the end of 2021.

“This means that even if the 161 flats which are going to be released yield an extra few properties and the allocation of the pensioners’ flats also releases a further number of flats as yet unknown, these will still not be enough to tackle the total number of applicants on the waiting list,” Action for Housing said.

“The only way to eliminate the chronic and very lengthy waiting time for applicants on the waiting list is for the Government to construct housing for rental.”

“Regrettably, the Government refuses to do this and instead prefers to engage in figure juggling to try to convince the general public that this exercise will go a long way towards resolving our chronic housing problem.”

“We are not convinced.”

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