A joint letter from the Moshav, Kibbutz and Religious Kibbutz movements demanded that the Trajtenberg Committee find an immediate solution to the housing shortage and proposed several “practical” ideas to the ongoing troubles, a statement from the groups announced on Sunday.

Among its list of solutions, the movements suggested the construction of mobile buildings in communities located close to cities with academic institutions, which would be rented to students and supervised for a period of 10 years.

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Meanwhile, “split estates” – joint land ownership – would be permitted, and an order from the beginning of the 1990s that allowed for temporary conversion of unused agricultural buildings for housing should be reinstituted, the statement continued.

“According to the Settlements Movements there is the ability and the willingness to pitch in and help out in the housing shortage,” said Meir Tzur, secretary-general of the Moshav Movement, in the statement. “We are offering ideal solutions for the Israeli economy that will lead to the deployment of thousands of families across Israel and will strengthen the student population.”

Amit Yifrach, chairman of the department of Land and Cooperative Associations in the Moshav Movement, agreed, “We are talking about a stimulus to strengthen and advance employment and entrepreneurship in the periphery, which will bring a reduction in unemployment and the transfer of many investments to the periphery – and all this in the immediate future.”

The movements also demanded that the government protect local agricultural production and land, which it called “fundamental and essential resources to the state of Israel’s existence,” and safeguard local farmers covered by the “agricultural exemption” in the Antitrust Law.

“Most countries protect local agricultural production and subsidize surplus exports,” secretary of the Religious Kibbutz Movement, Nehemia Rappel, added in the statement.

In an effort to find a solution to the housing shortage and encourage the government to form an official policy toward local agriculture, the movements said that they “expect and are ready to be full partners in committee hearings on the subjects.”

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