Opinions

Homelessness in Malta

The news seems to only portray Malta as a successful country with a thriving economy. Common perception is that everyone seems to be doing well and investing, thus becoming wealthier. Whilst this is a reality for most people in Malta, there is another side to the story, of those who are struggling to make ends meet, in extreme case scenarios.

Whilst our group of friends seems to not only buy their own homes, but also acquire property for rental investment, there are those who cannot even buy a small one-bedroom apartment. This is an unfortunate reality for those who are on their own and do not earn a high salary. Recent messages across social media indicate the struggle of such people, who are visiting banks and realise that their loan capacity can only cater for a garage. This is making it difficult for people in their twenties to venture for a life of their own and may be stuck with living in their parents’ property.

In addition to this, the price of rent keeps increasing, with little movements in salary which makes it more difficult than it was in the past to rent a place. With the stream of foreigners working in high paying gaming companies and the number of people acquiring Maltese citizenship, the ball game has changed as these individuals have a significantly higher spending power than the average Maltese Joe. This increase in property prices is matched with the fact that people who do not have high paying jobs have not seen change in their income over the past years. This is leaving them vulnerable with a big chance of never entering the property market and worse, ending up homeless.

Homelessness is becoming less of an invisible problem and with the state of things, it may seem that the problem can only get worse. All reports seem to indicate that Malta’s economy will keep flourishing, and with that an increased cost of living will follow. If the distribution of wealth does not extend to low-income earners, they will be forced to struggle through a cost of living which was brought upon them by high-income earners.

Another problem in Malta is the lack of social housing projects. Although the government will be launching a big social housing project, little has been done in recent years to accommodate those who cannot afford a home of their own.

Whilst it is true that Malta is a leader when compared to other European countries, we need to address the distribution of wealth, as some are struggling with what we consider as basic.

What are your views about homelessness? What do you think should be done in Malta to address this concern?

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