A coalition of 20 NGOs has described today’s happening when scores of immigrants were found living in horse stables at Marsa as “absurd and cruel at every level”.
The coalition, currently campaigning for a change in the Rental Laws, told TVM that rental issues are not only problematic for immigrants but for all those who do not own their own property where even the cheapest rents absorb a large portion of an average wage.
It was maintained however that immigrants, such as those featured today, are in an even worse position because despite having less than the average wage they also face racist problems when they try to rent.
The coalition stated that in today’s case, the immigrants housed in horse stables not only lost the roof over their heads but also ended up the victims of authority because they were not offered any alternative accommodation.
An open centre is not necessarily a solution
Asked why these should not resort to an open centre, the coalition said these centres do not accept all immigrants and in any case there is a time limit on how long they can reside there. They clarified that being classed as a ‘migrant’ does not give a person an automatic right to enter an open centre and many have no alternative but to make rental arrangements.
Regarding the frequency of occurrence of such cases that NGOs face, the coalition said the reality of such situations is accelerating and is affecting all those who need to rent, in particular people in vulnerable situations such women experiencing domestic violence, as well as pensioners.
Rental reform is a step forward but does not address prices of rentals
The coalition said that is why it presented proposals for regulations in the rental market and current Parliamentary debate on rents was a step forward because it provides a framework for the obligations and regulations of those who offer rentals and those who rent.
It was maintained however that no action has been taken to address exorbitant rental prices as well as instability of rental, problems that are aggravating.
The coalition is made up of the Aditus Foundation, African Media Association Malta, Alleanza Kontra l-Faqar, Forum Komunità Bormliża, Integra Foundation, Isles of the Left, Koperattiva Kummerċ Ġust, Malta Gay Rights Movement, Malta Humanists Association, Malta Tenant Support, Mid-Dlam għad-Dawl, Movement Graffitti, Platform of Human Rights Organisations in Malta (PHROM), SOS Malta, Spark 15, The Critical Institute, The Millennium Chapel, Third World Group Malta, Women’s Rights Foundation u Żminijietna – Voice of the Left.
FILMAT: Jinstabu għexieren ta’ immigranti fi stalel taż-żwiemel fil-Marsa
Kamra “għas-sess” fil-kumpless ta’ stalel fejn kienu jgħixu l-immigranti