Social housing allocated with a phone call, from the minister at election time

Hundreds of social housing applicants were informed by telephone in the lead-up to the last general election that their applications had been approved, The Shift can report, and some of those calls were made by Social Housing Minister Roderick Galdes to his constituents.

The practice has also been acknowledged by the Housing Authority itself, which has confirmed that successful social housing applicants are not informed in writing by letter but, rather, verbally by telephone.

The Authority was replying to The Shift’s questions about the number of acceptances given in the months leading up to the 26 March 2022 general election.

Describing the unorthodox method as standard procedure, the Authority told The Shift that “no letters have been issued to inform clients of allocations in new social housing units.

“Social Housing Units are allocated at the discretion of the responsible Allocation Board and [successful applicants] were informed by telephone call as per our usual procedure.”

It is not known who the members of the so-called independent allocations board are but they are normally appointed by the minister responsible for housing.

The Shift is also informed that in the weeks leading up to the last elections, hundreds of applicants were informed directly with a phone call from Minster Roderick Galdes that their application had been considered favourably and that they would be allocated a new home.

Many such phone calls were made to applicants hailing from Galdes’ electoral districts.

The minister himself has also acknowledged that he was calling constituents to break the good news that they had been allocated social housing units.

Describing the personal calls as “a way of maintaining a close relationship with his constituents,” Galdes told MaltaToday that he contacts people who had previously come to him for help.

“I think I have every right to do this as an MP and minister, especially among my constituents,” Galdes insisted.

He claimed that all decisions taken by the Housing Authority’s allocation board were autonomous.

The Shift is informed that Galdes maintains a tight grip on how the Authority conducts its business.

Last November Galdes appointed his former chief of staff Matthew Zerafa as the Housing Authority’s new CEO. Zerafa is not only related to the minister, being the son of his cousin, but he also managed Galdes’ private secretariat for several years.

Only last April, the police started investigating allegations of bribery made against members of Galdes’s secretariat on allegations over social housing allocations.

Investigations started after a series of claims were made on social media to the effect that members of the minister’s private secretariat were receiving gifts in exchange for social housing allocations.

One of the social media posts the police are investigating.

According to Galdes, the claims are false and were made by “a person hiding behind a fake profile.”

If the police have concluded their investigations, the conclusions have not yet been made public.


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8 days ago

Ghandu xi house loan xi jhallas hux miskin inhallsuwielu ahna mit taxxi taghna mhux hekk??
Pozizzjoni tajba ahjar milli part time work mal Airmalta Hdud u Festi x’tahseb?
L istess bhal ma qed naghmlu ma ohrajn fosthom Trixxa Falzon ex part timer mal Airmalta, din wkoll kumbinazzjoni haqqa nhallsula l loan.

7 days ago

This government is NOT corrupt? They are completeley blatant about it!

Toni Borg
Toni Borg
7 days ago

“as per usual procedure”, obviously established by lejber to buy votes!

Korrotti primi!

6 days ago

Truly disgusting, unacceptable corrupt practice!
Are these ‘successful’ applicants vetted, their income verified, and their need for State subsidized Social Housing genuine, or are any of them applying and getting the Minister’s approval in order to move into a better taxpayers’ sponsored house at a lower rent that they presently pay?

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