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Action for Housing welcome Eastern Beach hostel but seek clarification

Henry Pinna from Action for Housing has said that the group welcome the Government’s decision to make an application to construct a 20-storey 665 bed hostel on the site of the MOT centre.

The aim of the hostel is to alleviate the demands for temporary housing for locals who are experiencing difficulties prior to being allocated permanent homes, and will act as a stepping stone for those who may be experiencing a sense of “homelessness” before being moved into adequate housing by the Government.

The Government also noted that the hostel is flexible and can also be used to accommodate visitors to Gibraltar providing affordable accommodation.

“These statements raise a number of questions and leave a number of grey areas which need to be explained and clarified,” said Mr Pinna.

“As stated above we welcome the fact that at long last Government is to provide temporary accommodation to locals who are homeless, a facility we have been asking for during the past 30 years or even longer.”

“But we do not understand what Government means when they say that these facilities will also act as a stepping stone for those who may be experiencing a sense of “homelessness”. This need clarification. One thing is to be homeless and the Housing Allocation Committee is the one to ascertain this social condition and another thing is for someone to experience a sense of “homelessness”.”

Action for Housing also added that the number of beds, 665, far exceeds the demand of homeless persons at any given time.

“So it stands to reasons to ask, who are those that the Government envisages as being entitled to occupy the remaining beds?” said Mr Pinna.

“Are these cross border workers who after Brexit would find it difficult to live in Spain? It would also be important to know who will run the hostel and who will make the decisions as to which category of lodgers will occupy the hostel. At this stage a number of pertinent questions need to be addressed, and in due time we shall be requesting a meeting with the pertinent Government Minister to have these clarified.”

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