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Action for Housing says plight of homeless men does not yet have ‘happy ending’

Action for Housing has challenged the Gibraltar Government’s use this week of the phrase “happy ending” to describe the situation affecting eight homeless men who were temporarily housed in the Retreat Centre during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The pressure group released a statement “for the sake of clarity and accuracy”, raising concerns over the future of some of these homeless men.

“It is true as the Government has said that two occupants have been allocated accommodation at the Workers’ Hotel, and two have been accommodated at Emile Hostel and Government is subsiding the rents for two weeks for which we are thankful,” Action for Housing said.

“However we do not know what will happen to these two men once the two weeks of subsidised rents are over.”

The group said temporary alternative accommodation will have to be provided, otherwise these individuals will become homeless again.

Two others have made their own arrangements, according to the Government, but Action for Housing is “not certain” what the case is with these two men.

“It is true that they left the Retreat Centre before they were evicted,” the group said.

“We believe that one of them managed to find temporary accommodation at a friend’s house, but we do not know for how long.”

“And the other one has told us that he has nowhere to go and is sleeping in his car. However we have not been able to verify this.”

The group added the story will have a “happy ending” when the two who are currently at Emile Hostel are given secure accommodation and the situation of the other two is resolved and they can “rest assured that they are properly housed.”

“Once this happens we shall be able to say that this story has had the happy ending we all desire and have been working for,” Action for Housing said.