GIBRALTAR’S crackdown on empty government flats is already yielding results, its minister for housing has said.

Minister Pat Orfila launched a hotline recently that has brought to her attention a total of seven empty public flats around Gibraltar.

Two of these flats are now in the final stages of repossession, after the Housing Department said it ‘received numerous calls’ in an ‘overwhelming public response’.

Minister Orfila was ‘delighted’ by the way local people have called in to report empty properties.

“We are deeply committed to tackling the issue of empty flats and ensuring that every available housing unit is put to good use,” she said.

The government wants to see all of its rental stock being occupied by needy individuals and families on the waiting list.

Its 24-hour hotline launched on December 15 continues to be active, open to calls seven days a week.

“The response from the public has been instrumental in our efforts, and we are extremely gratefulfor their vigilance and support,” Orfila added.

“Together we can create a brighter future for all residents.”

Gibraltar’s government has hundreds of rental flats which cost residents far less than the same sized apartments on the private market.

The majority of these flats are located in the housing estates of Glacis, Laguna, Alameda and Varyl Begg but also in the upper town.

At the last election, the GSLP/Liberals vowed to build even more rental flats apart from its more common low-cost homes to buy.

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