The Archbishop’s Curia and the Government have chosen, “after a rigorous process”, a 28-year-old lawyer from Qormi to lead a joint foundation aimed at tackling the rising problem of housing affordability.
Jake Azzopardi, a young lawyer who still lives with his parents in Qormi and who appears to have little to no tangible experience in the sector, has been announced by Housing Minister Roderick Galdes as the new CEO of the Foundation for Affordable Housing.
Heaping praise on the new Foundation boss, Galdes wrote that he is looking forward begin working with Azzopardi.
Research undertaken by The Shift, however, shows the two have already been working together for some time.
The son of former Labour Party CEO George Azzopardi, Jake Azzopardi has already been working for Galdes as a person of trust and canvasser for years.
Azzopardi was in fact engaged by Galdes back in 2017 when he was still a parliamentary secretary.
He was later promoted to a policy consultant when Galdes was made housing minister.
In the same period, and when he was already on the minister’s payroll, the young lawyer also spent two years in Brussels working as an assistant for a Labour MEP.
Sources close to the Church-Government Foundation told The Shift that despite a public call, Jake Azzopardi was selected because of his family connections to Galdes and the Labour Party.
They have also questioned the reasoning behind putting a 28-year-old in charge of tackling a problem of such magnitude and how the Curia had agreed on a choice marred by apparent political nepotism.
George Azzopardi was Robert Abela’s right-hand man in his Labour leadership election and was appointed Labour Party CEO in 2021 but resigned shortly after being put on the government payroll.
Azzopardi resigned after the last election and moved back to his government job at Projects Malta, which falls under the Prime Minister’s remit.
Founded in 2022, the Foundation for Affordable Housing was created by the government and the church to provide affordable housing for those with low income.
The Government will be contributing €300,000 a year to the foundation for the next 25, while the Archbishop’s Curia has contributed the Saint Joan of Arc convent in Kirkop for social housing purposes for the next 25 years. The Foundation’s board includes both government and church representatives.