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COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level responses

Eurofound's COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the crisis, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for case MT-2020-18/1620 – measures in Malta

Rental assistance for employees impacted by COVID-19

Country Malta , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 30 April 2020
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Measures to prevent social hardship
– Keeping a safe home
Author Luke Anthony Fiorini (University of Malta) and Eurofound
Case created 22 December 2020 (updated 11 January 2021)

Background information

Individuals who do not own their own home and became unemployed during COVID-19 or lost a substantial amount of their income suddenly faced difficulties in keeping up with rental payments on their home.

Prior to the onset of COVID-19 the Government of Malta provided a scheme entitled the 'Private Rent Housing Benefit Scheme' for individuals who struggled to keep up with rental payments. This had originally been introduced in view of ever-rising rental costs in Malta. Government updated this scheme in light of COVID-19 to allow impacted individuals to apply.

Individuals who were now able to apply included workers who have been laid off due to COVID-19, those suspended from work, self-employed people whose income had decreased drastically, as well as to victims of domestic violence.

Content of measure

The Private Rent Housing Benefit Scheme provides a benefit with regards to the rent paid on residences rented from the private sector in order to make these more affordable. The benefit is calculated on the basis of the applicants' income as well as the cost of their rent.

The scheme has the following criteria: that the applicant is the recognised tenant of the property; that the applicant has a formal contract with the landlord which covers at least six months but does not exceed 21 years; the applicant must be a Maltese or EU citizen or a formal refugee; the applicants must have been living in Malta for at least 18 consecutive months before the date of the application; the home is in a habitable state and meets applicable laws including those related to rental contract laws.

  • Single individuals can apply if their income is less than €19,000 and can receive up to €3,600 a year.
  • A single parent with one child can apply if their income does not exceed €19,231 and can receive up to €4,800.
  • A single parent with two or more children can apply if their income does not exceed €23,581 and can receive up to €5,000.
  • Two adults without children can apply if their combined income does not exceed €19,181 and can receive up to €3.600. Where they live with one child the maximum income is €23,981 and can receive up to €4,800. T
  • hose with two or more children can have an income of up to €32,000 and receive up to €5,000.
  • Finally three or more adults living together can apply if their income does not exceed €28,081 and can receive up to €5,000.

The Scheme is managed by the Housing Authority.

Use of measure

It was announced that in some cases up to 80% of the rent was being covered by the Government. In mid April 2020 it was announced that 60% of applicants were those who had already been receiving some form of rent benefits, whereas 40% were individuals who had not previously received any rent subsidy. 72% of applicants were employees, while 28% were self-employed.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Applies to all workers Does not apply to businesses Applies to all citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Other social actors (e.g. NGOs)
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Unknown Unknown
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: N/A

Involvement

The involvement of social partners in this measure is not known. However, on announcing that the measure would be extended to those impacted by COVID-19. the minister responsible thanked various NGOs as well as an employers' association. These included: YMCA, Aditus Foundation, Moviment Graffitti and the Malta Developers Association.

Views and reactions

No reviews have been expressed with regards to this scheme.

Sources

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Rental assistance for employees impacted by COVID-19, case MT-2020-18/1620 (measures in Malta), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, http://eurofound.link/covid19eupolicywatch

Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process. All information is preliminary and subject to change.