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Opinion & Analysis

Fixing a broken housing system

By Elliott Phillips

There is nothing like an election campaign, it focuses the minds of those wishing to serve our great community by forcing them to hear the desperate stories of those people in our community who cry out for change on a single issue, that issue is the broken housing system.

I thank everyone of you who have shared your experiences with us over the last four years. We have tried to help by being your voice to the relevant Minister. In the vast majority of cases your complaint has fallen on deaf ears and has been ignored by the GSLP/Libs. We will not forget you and we will not ignore you.

The fog of Brexit has finally been lifted and the false premise on which Fabian Picardo relies on in seeking your vote has been exposed. I have spent may years listening to shocking stories of neglect in our public housing system.

Young men and women who were promised a home in 2011 are still waiting for a decent home. Overcrowding is rife and our British Gibraltarian Moroccan communities' plight has been exposed by GBC without intervention by the Government.

I am the only parliamentarian to have visited members of our community who continue to endure shocking housing conditions directly in their homes. I have heard the complex and difficult housing problems that arise in the context of divorce and separation which can have a devastating effect on relationships between parent and child.

The inconsistency in the approach to rental housing has left those who cannot afford even on so called 'affordable prices' without hope of a decent home. It is said that Gibraltar is one of the most affluent countries in the world and everyone earns over £30,000. Tell that to the people who are stuck on minimum wage and on the housing lists with thousands of others without hope of advancement. How can they afford to buy? The short answer is that they cannot.

Our public housing system with its lists and points is ill equipped to provide for those most in need. We must accept that this must change and it must change now.

For five years the GSD have invited the Government to introduce means testing to ensure that public housing is allocated to those most in need. The GSLP rejected that invitation.

We are the only party contesting the election to truly commit to building 500 homes for rental.

The GSD has a comprehensive housing policy which will inject fairness and introduce means testing so that those most in need are the first for public housing.

The demands on housing are complex and difficult but we are the only party who truly understand the plight of those in need.

Come the 17th October we are the only party who can deliver real change and by splitting your vote you will only guarantee the GSLP four more years.

By block voting the GSD you will deliver that real change that our community is desperately seeking particularly in housing.

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