Over a period of three years, a considerable number of social accommodations will be built
Social Inclusion Housing Sector
Through the assistance of European funds, the Housing Authority will begin, during the last quarter of 2017, a series of works to install lifts and upgrade government social housing. This process is expected to be concluded over a period of six years. The maintenance of communal areas and lift installations will take place on 211 buildings where roughly 4,400 persons reside, 1,200 of which are elderly and roughly 200 are persons with disabilities.
€50 million social housing project
Throughout 2017, the first units of the massive €50 million social housing project – that was announced in last year’s budget – will be built. Over a period of three years, a considerable number of social accommodations will be built.
Personal Assistance for persons with disabilities
Plans to launch a scheme where persons with disabilities will have personal assistance according to their needs were announced. This would be based on the works carried out by the Swiss Independent Living Institute, and will be open to all ages, with the expenses being footed partly by the government and partly by those making use of the service. The annual expense incurred will reach just over €1 million.
Continuing work on social justice
The government will be continuing work on the social justice project, which will see the building of 10 new homes for persons with disabilities across Malta. The homes are intended for respite services, and will also provide peace of mind for parents and family members.
Care for the elderly respite services
Respite services aimed towards informal carers who work directly in the homes of dependent persons are to be launched in 2017. Through this service, carers will be given support by the provision of three weeks rest per year.
In this way, carers will be cared for as they deserve, and will be stopped from being socially excluded.
Meals on Wheels
The Meals on Wheels tender has been extended and plans to remove the waiting lists for this service by the end of 2016 are being considered. This is thanks to an increase of the allocated budget for this type of service, with the aim of strengthening community services.
The government has also taken care to improve the quality of the food provided and reduce the associated risks.
Ruzar Briffa building project
For the elderly demographic, the Ruzar Briffa building within St Vincent De Paul is being primed to undergo expansion and upgrade works. In this way, workers can live and work in a better environment. Through this project, six new halls will be built which will be able to receive a larger number of patients.
Mtarfa day care centre
The Mtarfa day care centre will be modernised and expanded in order to offer more facilities and accommodate a larger number of people throughout the week.
In this area, the government is working towards better furnishings and improving the conditions for persons with disabilities who make use of the centres. In addition to this, another centre in the south of Malta is also being considered in order to reach more people.
Works continue on the ‘REACH’ project
Works have continued on the REACH project, announced last year. This project will incorporate a variety of services, adapted for a variety of needs. This project is expected to cater for persons with disabilities, reduce the waiting lists of Appoġġ, the state social support agency, through the use of modern professional services and infrastructure. The design concept for this project is based on the universal design concept.
Work towards addressing society’s needs
The Foundation for Social Services believe in supervision being present when a child and its parent, who do not live in the same household, spend time together. With this in mind, the foundation will be strengthening access to professional supervision for such instances, at a suitable location where children feel secure and have more freedom to connect with the family member in question.
Centre for teenage girls
The Foundation will be launching a secure centre for teenage girls that will operate under a system of therapy, with the aim of helping young adults who have suffered through difficult circumstances that have pushed them towards the margins of society. Apart from keeping these teenagers away from harm, the centre will serve to teach teenage girls the skills they need to live and participate within society.
Sedqa pilot project
Sedqa, the state agency that combats addiction within the Foundation for Social Services, will launch a pilot project focused on young couples with children who are going through a separation. This will serve to address the problems and needs of the child within the policies for a positive upbringing initiative published by the Family and Social Solidarity Ministry.
Social fund for students in difficulty
A fund will be allocated to assist the quality of lives of students who are currently living in difficulty. This will serve not just to help the students materially, but will also provide assistance in the areas of culture and sport. The thinking is that the Employment and Education Ministry and the Family and Social Solidarity Ministry would work together with the principles of various schools and colleges to administer these funds to the right students.
For the first year of this fund, €1 million will be allocated.
President’s Foundation for Social Welfare
Through this fund, assistance will be given to individuals who have been marginalised or excluded by society, such as those youngsters who leave school early and remain unemployed.