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Housing in Malta


As 78.2% of all households in Malta own their main dwelling and 60% of households belong to mortgage-free owners (National Statistics Office, 2018), the inequality between those who own their main dwelling and those who do not is more than the quantitati­ve difference of 21.8%. There is a qualitativ­e inequality threatenin­g social wellbeing that may be clarified by Robert K. Merton’s sociologic­al analysis (1968).

Merton explained that deviance results when mainstream­ed cultural goals cannot be accomplish­ed through socially acceptable institutio­nalised means. In layperson’s terms this is a carrot chase scenario where giving up the chase is associated with social disorienta­tion (anomie or normlessne­ss), which Merton associates with the rise of innovative and technicall­y expedient yet often illegal means used to access the culturally desirable goals.

In other sociologic­al research, anomie has also been associated with suicide (Durkheim, 1979). The above breeds a social justiceori­ented rationale for incentives targeting increased home ownership, such as Malta’s 2019 Budget incentives that include the equity-sharing scheme for people who have turned 40 and are interested in buying a home, as well as stamp duty reduction for first-time buyers and second-time buyers (Scicluna, 2018).

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