The sharp increases in rent prices over recent years are having a serious impact on the ability of vulnerable persons, including families, to secure dignified accommodation. Although possibly a sign that Malta is becoming more prosperous, several Maltese and foreign individuals are simply unable to cope. Whilst we welcome Malta’s economic growth, we also urge the authorities to engage in a process that will ensure growth that is truly nation-wide, and based on principles of social justice and respect for human dignity. Malta needs to ensure that all persons have access to affordable accommodation.
As organisations supporting many of Malta’s marginalised communities, we are witnessing the consequences of sharp and often unpredictable increases in rent prices, such as: homelessness, families regularly moving from one locality to another, substandard quality of accommodation, over-crowding, replacement of studies with employment and over-reliance on temporary shelters. These are exacerbated by the long waiting lists, or ineligibility for social housing.
The people we are assisting include survivors of domestic violence, the elderly, persons with disabilities, migrants and refugees, women trapped in prostitution, youth, persons with mental health problems, and newly-separated or divorced persons. In our experience, persons falling into multiple categories, such as women with disabilities or elderly refugees, are more acutely affected. We are also aware that our concerns are shared by many other persons who, whilst not falling into any of the above categories, are earning low or even average income.
In response to this disquieting social development, we are joining forces to raise the issue on the national political agenda. Our Coalition is based on a shared vision where economic growth is not equated with deprivation and marginalisation, but instead leads to social and human prosperity for all.
We are therefore urging the authorities to give the matter due and urgent consideration, not only in the interests of the persons directly affected by these situations but also for the sake of securing social cohesion and dignified living conditions for all persons.
The Coalition is composed of:
aditus foundation, Alleanza Kontra l-Faqar, Anti Poverty Forum Malta, Caritas Malta, Foundation for Shelter and Support to Migrants, Integra Foundation, Jesuit Refugee Service Malta, Malta Emigrants’ Commission, MGRM, Dr. Marceline Naudi, , Organisation for Friendship in Diversity, The Platform of Human Rights Organisations in Malta (PHROM), Richmond Foundation, Spark 15, St. Jeanne Antide Foundation, Women’s Rights Foundation