The government on Monday pledged NIS 44 million to build low-cost housing facilities for soldiers on leave from the Beduin, Druse and Circassian communities.
The pledge is the main tenet of an agreement signed between Housing Minister Ze'ev Boim, Development Minister Yaakov Edri and leaders of each of the minority communities.
The three-year project, is a joint effort of the Ministries of Housing and of Development of the Negev and Galilee, along with the Prime Minister's Office. The plan will allow 600 single apartment units to be built in the first stage of the deal at the cost of NIS 100,000 per unit. Discussions for the project began after the heads of those communities appealed to Edri for low-cost housing for their soldiers, saying that it was hard for those soldiers to find living space. As part of the plan, the Housing Ministry will contribute NIS 34m. while the Development Ministry will contribute NIS 4m. and the Prime Minister's Office NIS 6m.
In a speech Monday at the Knesset, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert stressed the importance of responding to the concerns of the minority communities, and said that he was committed to continuing discussions.