Justice in Israel

Amidar: The public housing company that’s not building public housing

1 Comment 04 May 2015

Public housing corporation Amidar has big plans to build – the problem is they won’t be building public housing!

Screenshot 2015-02-02 09.48.35

Amidar, one of the major companies responsible for public housing in Israel, recently announced its plans for an urban renewal project. Unfortunately, it seems this plan is actually a recipe for kicking public housing residents out of their homes without supplying viable new options.

The plan is to replace a number of old, outdated buildings with taller buildings, so each new building will consist of more apartments than the previous ones. By building “up,” they create more space on the ground which can also be developed.

The trouble is that all the new apartments created from this will be sold on the free market, and are therefore not affordable to folks in need of public housing. Therefore, despite the severe lack of public housing in Israel, there will be no new public housing in this plan. To add insult to injury, the original number of apartments dedicated to public housing, which will theoretically be maintained, will be expanded, and the cost of all the additional space in the apartment will be sold or rented at market rate, thereby making these “pubic housing” apartments unaffordable to the very population they are meant to assist. Unable to afford a new home in the new buildings, the old residents of previous buildings, now destroyed, will have lost their homes.

Are we suggesting that public housing residents remain in old, outdated buildings indefinitely? The choice between that and new ones is a false one. Contrary to what Amidar claims, there are internationally accepted models of urban renewal that allow the contractor to make a profit and retain the same amount or more of public housing apartments, sold at public housing rates, without causing the state extra money. The current plan by Amidar has no intention of setting aside any additional apartments for the growing demand of public housing, while the apartments that already exist will themselves become unaffordable.

Your Comments

1 comment

  1. Rabbis for Human Rights? Really?
    When government of Israel try to get from people / taxpayers, the Employer of this government, as more as possible, and so many people are paying for rent apartments almost monthly salary / income – this government is so greedy and became the enemy of people.
    And it is Israel. What a shame!
    I do NOT want to help and protect who rob me and My People. But opposite!
    Where are Rabbis?
    The government, but NOT Jewish Agency for Israel must own public housing.
    What a Jewish crooks!

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