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Mar 11 - Government Issues What It Calls A “Clear Statement” On Housing Policy

The Government has issued a reply to what it describes as the latest “tit for tat response” from the Opposition regarding its housing policy.

The Government clarifies that since it came into office, about 400 people have already been allocated a home. In addition, the Government says it has announced the construction of over 1000 flats at Beach View, Mons Calpe Terraces and the pensioners’ flats at Europort Avenue. Most of these flats, it argues, are for sale at rock-bottom prices so some will be bought by people on the housing list, thus reducing that list.

Regarding social and medical applicants, the Government says that many of the new flats will be bought by people who are already in Government rental accommodation thus freeing up that accommodation for people on the housing list.

Replying to the Opposition’s question concerning housing for those who have been living across the border and wish to return home, the Government has replied that those who meet the Housing List criteria may be already on the Housing List. The Government notes, however, that some will prefer to live in private rentals whilst there may be others who meet the Housing criteria but who are not on the Waiting List. The Government says it will monitor this situation and it already has further initiatives in the pipeline.

The Government statement concludes:

“The Opposition suggest that the Government should not ‘look to the past’ to criticise the previous Government. This is an incredible statement for them to make, given that as late as 2011 when they were in office they were still themselves looking back at what did or did not happen between 1988 and 1996! It is clear that even on this issue they have one yardstick for their own Government and a different one for others.

“The bottom line is that in its first term of office this Government will provide over 1000 affordable flats. It took the GSD in Government over eight years to reach this position. The waiting list grew from 400 to 1400 in their time in office. There is therefore no legitimacy in anything that they may now preach on this matter.”