In a major boost to the Government’s house-building programme, over 1600 homes for Gibraltarians will be made available from the summer of 2019 until the end of 2021 with the construction of 3 NEW affordable housing estates:- Hassan Centenary Terraces, Bob Peliza Mews and Europort Avenue. In addition, approximately 160 former MOD homes will pass to the Government as part of the MOD Lands Transfer Agreement and will then be sold by the Government. The eligibility requirement for the new build afford homes (which is set out below) will be different to the eligibility requirement for the ex-MOD housing.
Completion of the first blocks of affordable homes is expected to be in February 2020 with the first phase of Hassan Centenary Terraces and the whole of that estate being completed by the end of 2020. Completion of the estate on Europort Avenue is expected to commence in March 2021. Completion of the first phase of Bob Peliza Mews is expected, subject to the successful and timely commissioning of the new power station, in June 2021 and the second phase in December 2021.
It is expected that the MOD accommodation in the South District, Europa Walks, Trafalgar Heights, Naval Hospital Hill, Lake Ramp, Provost Ramp and Phillimore Ramp at Buena Vista Estate, will be transferred to the Government in early 2019. Thereafter they will initially be used to provide accommodation for athletes who will participate in the Island Games.
Tenders or Expressions of Interest for these properties will be opened during the course of this calendar year with an expectation of completion starting in August 2019. Government is in the process of preparing a brochure outlining all the opportunities available and a more detailed announcement will be made in due course.
The Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said: “The provision of housing that is affordable is of course an essential part of the strengthening and growth of our nation and has therefore always been a priority for our GSLP/Liberal administration. We have a proven track record and have already delivered in numbers and quality. We are committed to continue to provide for our community and will continue to do so with homes that are affordable and I am delighted to announce the next phase of our forthcoming projects. Hassan Centenary Terraces will provide spectacular aesthetics at the entrance to the East side development and will be the first estate to be delivered. We will phase the completion of the remaining estates thereafter so that there will be a continuous supply of accommodation. Similarly, we will be seeing the remaining jewels on the MOD property crown being delivered to us in 2019. The Minister for Housing will lead on the details and specifications of the new affordable homes to ensure that we properly cater for the housing demand. Land Property Services and GRP, under the Deputy Chief Minister, will lead on the MOD housing as has been the case in the past.”
The Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia said: “The Government has, over the years, put on the market a number of former MOD properties out to tender and these have been allocated to the highest bidders in each case. There has been considerable demand for such properties in the past and the Government expects that it will be no different with the units that we will be advertising shortly. There are many instances where the release of former MOD residential units has allowed movement up the property ladder with accommodation being released further down the scale. The Government decided to combine the announcements of the release of MOD accommodation with the new housing schemes so that interested parties are aware of the different options. The development of these new housing schemes will be phased to ensure that there is continuity in the provision and everyone will be aware of what will be available in the coming years.”
The Government is now writing to those who have already expressed and interest to purchase affordable housing and asking them to complete a questionnaire the objective of which is to ensure to optimise the composition of the flats. The questionnaire will be available on the Government’s website.