18 Feb, 2024 @ 08:47
1 min read

Housing activist pushes for ‘holistic plan’ for Gibraltar old town: young people could repair abandoned homes, he says

YOUNG people could get the opportunity to fix up some of the abandoned homes in the Upper Town and revive Gibraltar’s heritage, a housing activist has said.

Henry Pinna of Action for Housing believes ‘neglected’ areas in the old town still have a part to play in the Rock’s future.

He is mainly referring to the pathways around Moorish Castle Estate, which once housed the majority of Gibraltar’s population.

The activist said these streets have been left to rot without any idea what to do about them.

The activist showed the Olive Press around some of those small winding passages full of winding steps that criss-cross the Upper Town.

Former homes with cracked walls, boarded up windows and even missing roofs characterise the whole neighbourhood.

“For me personally, the upper town is where our heritage is,” he told the Olive Press.

“It’s been neglected for years on end so I think it’s about time that the government came up with a holistic plan to do it up.”

As one of Gibraltar’s leading activists, Pinna often clashes with ministers that are focusing on building new apartment blocks instead.

And he said the government has already identified some of those buildings that could be repaired.

But while he admits that Covid and Brexit have both hit the public purse, he said that this is a case of ‘urban decay going back many years’.

“Even in the boom years when there was a lot more money than we have now, nothing was done to tackle urban decay in the upper town area near the Moorish Castle,” Pinna said.

“What we need is a holistic plan to tackle the whole upper town area – not just focus on here and there.

“But that needs a four or five year plan investing money and getting private companies and young people to take part.”


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