Country Report: Housing Last updated: 30/11/20


JRS Malta Visit Website

The main form of accommodation provided is access to reception centres which are the Initial Reception Centre in Marsa, Hal Far Tent Village, Hal Far Open Centre and Peace Lab. Two centres are dedicated to host minors and women and provide for smaller types of accommodation, namely Dar il -Liedna and Balzan Open Centre. However, in the current context of a reception system which is at full capacity, beneficiaries of international protection are not allowed to stay in reception centres in 2019.

Refugees are entitled to apply to the Maltese Housing Authority program for alternative accommodation known as "Government Units for Rent", provided they have been residing in Malta for 12 months and have limited income and assets. Refugees are also entitled to all of the schemes that the Housing Authority offer, such as a rent subsidy scheme.

A study carried out among the migrant community in Malta (asylum-seekers and beneficiaries of international protection) evidenced that housing remains an issue for such populations as rental prices have increased greatly over the past few years. Most of the people interrogated for the survey qualified housing costs as a burden. Moreover, problems such as shortage of space and lack of light are common as the overall quality of the dwellings rented by the migrant population is usually poor and/or their size is not suited for the number of individuals living in them.[1] In 2017, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights raised the issue of access to housing in correspondence with the Ministry for Home Affairs.[2]

This problem persisted throughout 2018 and 2019, with NGOs working in the social sector commenting that access to private accommodation was increasingly challenging for several groups, including migrants and beneficiaries of international protection, resulting in higher numbers of homeless persons or of persons living in squalid conditions.[3]


[1] aditus foundation and JRS Malta, Struggling to survive, an investigation into the risk of poverty among asylum seekers in Malta, January 2017, available at: http://bit.ly/2kVtuRz.

[2] Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Letter to the Minister for Home Affairs, National Security and Law Enforcement of Malta, CommHR/NM/sf 043-2017, 14 December 2017, available at: http://bit.ly/2o5Bwr6.

[3] Times of Malta, ‘Number of officially homeless in Malta is “not a reality”’, 6 October 2018, available at: https://bit.ly/2SPEsJV.


Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation