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Social housing review is need, says Ombudsman

Gibraltar needs to undertake a comprehensive review of the social housing situation according to Public Services Ombudsman Mario Hook.

In his annual report laid before Parliament last week, Mr Hook said his office has through the years heard and dealt with all sorts of complaints relating to housing issues and believes this exposure now places his team in a good position to be able to comment on issues of concern. A position, he stresses, which is “possibly second-to-none” when dealing with housing.

Mr Hook suggests the present model has now outlived its shelf life.

“A review of the Scheme would be in order,” he writes in his report and believes there could be a detailed study of the various aspects of recent and future requirements of social rental housing in Gibraltar.

Putting forward a series of suggestions, he says, this could include (non-exhaustive) level of rent charged; provision for periodical review of rental charges; consideration given as to whether the allocation of a property and level of rent should be means-tested; home insurance to cover such things as flooding or other similar loss in order to avoid the taxpayer footing such bills should be mandatory; security services; and the return of estate wardens.

These are matters which have been brought to the Ombudsman attention through complaints or enquiries since over the years.



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