A laborer works on an apartment building under construction in the Har Homa quarter in Jerusalem.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Housing Minister Yoav Galant (Kulanu) on Tuesday slammed a public housing plan by the stateowned housing company Amidar, accusing its chairman Itzhak Lex of “trying to maximize profits at the expense of the weakest population in Israel.”
Earlier this week, Lex announced a plan that would include transferring some 40,000 units from the Housing Ministry’s control to its own.
The company also would raise NIS 2.5 billion to purchase 2,400 units for public housing, and foresaw bringing in NIS 200 million a year from rent, and an additional NIS 200m. from government subsidies.
Galant’s Tuesday letter to MK Karin Elharar (Yesh Atid), who chairs the Knesset State Control Committee, said the move would privatize public housing, and that he had rejected such moves in the past.
“Despite my clear instructions, the chairman continues to work with Knesset members, media and other actors,” Galant said of Lex’s plans.
Amidar’s plan, he added, would “assist in the destruction of the important and indispensable institution of public housing.”
The affordable housing forum, an advocacy group, backed up Galant, adding that Amidar had failed in its mission over the years.
“Amidar should go back to being a company that knows how to do one simple thing: giving reasonable service to poor people. And if it fails, then its leadership should go home,” the group wrote in a statement.