Real Estate Agent's Dire Warning: Maltese Workers Forced To Live In Garages With No Toilets, Electricity Or Beds
"These people are being subjected to inhumane and degrading treatment"
Simon Debono (circle) warned MPs of the ugly consequences of Malta's soaring rent prices
Malta’s soaring rent prices are forcing Maltese people, including those in employment, to relocate to garages without even any electricity, water or toilets, the secretary general of the Federation of Estate Agents has warned.
In a sobering presentation to MPs yesterday, Simon Debono said there are around 900 Maltese families currently living in garages after the rent prices of even the most basic of studio flats shot up beyond their budgets.
“Four years ago, our Federation used to be able to refer these social cases to landlords who were offering basic studio flats with broken-down furniture for €200 a month, but the rent has now quadrupled,” Debono said. “These people have been forced out of their homes and into garages with no toilets, electricity or water and with bedding made out of cardboard boxes obtained from supermarkets.”
To rub salt into the wounds, local councils have even painted parking bays in front of garages after finding out they are being used as residencies - blocking the poor residents from entering their 'homes' when cars are parked outside them.
“You have all kissed the Bible and sworn to protect the Constitution,” a clearly angry Debono told MPs of the social and family committees. “Yet the Constitution states that people shouldn’t be subjected to inhumane or degrading treatment, and that is exactly what these people are being subjected to. How is it right for people who work and pay their taxes to suddenly find themselves forced to live inside a garage?"
The government is currently finalising a White Paper on housing, which Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has said will stabilise the rental market and clamp down on rent abuse but without state intervention in the market