Housing or hospital - which first?

Members of the Conseil National are in a dilemma over state housing.

The Conseil National has been discussing the question of state housing for Monegasques this week. A large scale housing development program was announced in December 2008, but continues to be beset by delays. The current issue revolves around two buildings called Tamaris and Jasmin on avenue Pasteur below the Princess Grace Hospital.

Plans have already been outlined for a development called Tamaris, to be built on the land vacated when the current buildings are demolished. With an estimated cost of 50 m euros, the project is due for delivery in 2013, but building work can't start before the new hospital project is finalized. If construction goes ahead, it may jeopardize the possible future use of the current hospital site for the new medical complex. Members of the Conseil National are having to balance their desire for more housing with the need for a new hospital.

In principle, they have agreed to the demolition of the buildings on avenue Pasteur and will use the land as a hospital car park. Construction will be delayed until the future hospital site has been confirmed, which should be towards the end of the first quarter 2011.

In the meantime, construction of state housing on the Rainier III development will soon start. The first phase of 120 lodgings and 835 parking spaces should be operational in the first quarter of 2012 and the remainder in first quarter 2013. Next door, the Canton development will contain 60 lodgings and a creche rather than a multi-media complex.

Tamaris : 60 apartments, but when?