Social housing is among the many challenges being faced by some 2,000 persons waiting for accommodation from the Housing Authority. This emerged from the first-ever study in Malta which provides a clearer picture on the profile of those who are on the waiting list for social accommodation, the majority of whom are unemployed female parents.
Two out of three applicants for social housing are single parents, mostly women aged between 26 and 45, while the majority are unemployed.
A study commissioned by the Housing Authority shows that the average income of applicants is €755 a month among those who are employed, while those receiving social benefits earn some €530 a month.
Statistician Vince Marmarà said “The fact that you have an amount of single parents who face various challenges, even to find work is not easy. There are also elderly persons who said that they need an alternative home because the property they live in is very large or it is not situable due to the lift”.
The study shows the Maltese culture of having their own home while those who applied, consider alternatives for social accommodation. The applicants for social accommodation include parents who are separating or divorcing, and others waiting to give birth, as sociologist Maria Brown explained.
“This is a project that shows that by giving a home key to a person will not solve the vast problems for those who presented the applications. Many of them have problems beyond the need of having a home or cannot afford to buy one. Therefore, there is a need for inter-ministerial collaboration and a long-term strategy, together with a life-long learning programme for those who are given accommodation”.
Social Housing Minister Roderick Galdes said that the study will assist in the decisions to be taken when, among others, drafting social accommodation projects and new initiatives.
Housing Authority chief executive Leonid McKay said that researchers visited the applicants at their residence and the results of the study confirm that the Authority needs to continue addressing the roots of the social problems that the applicants are facing.