The number of people on the social housing waiting list is down by 42 per cent over the past four years, Social Housing Minister Roderick Galdes said on Saturday. 

In 2017 there were 3,288 people on the waiting list. That number is now down to 1,900 people, he said.
 
Galdes noted that the waiting list had been significantly cut down before new social housing units were allocated to candidates and attributed much of this down to preventative measures that had led to fewer people registering for such accommodation.

While in 2017 there were 580 new applications for social housing, in 2020 that number stood at 238. 
 
Galdes said preventative measures included the government’s rent benefit, which allows recipients to pay no more than 25 per cent of their rent, as well as works to repair 800 homes and adapt 500 more to people with mobility or disability challenges. 

The minister also noted that around 160 families eligible for social housing were now homeowners thanks to the help of social loans offered by the government through its Home Assist scheme. 

"The holistic housing system we created is bearing fruit and achieving progress”, the minister claimed.
 
Galdes said 571 social housing units would be allocated from existing stock by the end of June, with 240 others coming from private properties rented out by the Housing Authority for use as social housing. He said the government was also keen to use vacant properties in village cores for such purposes. 

Housing Authority CEO Leonid McKay said that enforcement against the abuse of social housing has been strengthened and has led to several houses being recovered. 

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