The Ministry for Social Accommodation has appointed Dr Mary Grace Vella as chairperson of the Affordable Housing Board, according to a press statement issued by the ministry on Saturday morning.
Dr Vella will “continue the priceless work carried out within this board by the late Joe Bartolo and will salute his memory by working towards the materialisation of the concept of affordable housing in our country”.
Dr Mary Grace Vella commenced her career in the public sector as a probation officer with the Correctional Facility and served as a social inclusion officer within the Ministry for Social Politics.
Currently, she is a lecturer within the Systems of Knowledge Department at the Junior College and is also a visiting lecturer at the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Social Well-being at the University of Malta.
She is also a contributor to the Centre for Labour Studies and offers technical consultancy services on poverty reduction and social exclusion issues to the Ministry of Family, Children’s Rights and Social Solidarity.
Dr Vella has been a long-standing activist with Moviment Graffitti and other non-governmental organisations which actively campaign for more social justice and environmental protection. She also forms part of the National Observatory for Living with Dignity within the President’s Foundation for the Well-being of Society.
She graduated in 1998 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and subsequently obtained a Diploma in Probation Services and further qualifications at Masters’ level in Sociology, Human Rights and Democratisation. In 2013, she obtained her Doctorate in Political Sciences from the Department of Sociology at the University of Malta.
With regards to this appointment, Minister for Social Accommodation Roderick Galdes remarked that, “Dr Vella, despite her excellent academic qualifications, has also distinguished herself as a person who excels in the practical side of her work. She is a competent individual with a profile which fully reflects the direction which I, as Minister, have taken to address the housing challenges this country is facing, which involves the practical work required to understand the realities of different strata of society whilst applying detailed research and academic studies to our evidenced-based policy decisions.
“In fact, Dr Vella shall be applying this principle to the work she shall be carrying out, through the experience she obtained when frequenting various social circles coupled with her academic qualifications.”
He added that Dr Vella will be working hand in hand with the ministry to ensure that the third sector of housing in our country, affordable housing, bears the intended fruits for the benefit of our families.
Dr Mary Grace Vella / Photo provided by the Ministry for Social Accommodation (MSA)