THE JERUSALEM skyline as viewed from the Mount of Olives..
(photo credit: DAN/FLICKR)
The local Planning and Construction Committee is approving construction projects virtually everywhere. In Kiryat Hayovel, some 7,000 housing units are to be built in a series of towers by 2025. Thousands of other units are planned for Katamon and in other haredi neighborhoods. Altogether, following the last three meetings of the committee headed by Deputy Mayor Eliezer Rauchberger (Degel Hatorah), some 23,000 new housing units will be built by 2025 – about a third of the 60,000 needed units that former mayoral candidate Ze’ev Elkin pledged to promote if elected.
The need for significant residential construction was a common theme among the mayoral candidates – to build as much affordable housing as possible in both religious and “pluralist” neighborhoods to attract and retain young families. A project promoted by the Treasury Ministry and the Planning and Construction committee was presented to the city council in August (two months before the elections) and rejected. Virtually the same plan was brought again to the council in February and this time was approved. The Planning and Construction committee examined different plans in the concerned neighborhoods where available plots could still be found. Some elements of the famous Safdie plan rejected some 15 years ago (to build on parts of what is considered the green lungs of the city) were revived.
While the final plan is still in the process of being submitted for public response and objections, there appears to be agreement between the haredi and non-haredi representatives at city council for 15,000 units in the secular/pluralist neighborhoods and 8,000 in the haredi neighborhoods in skyline-changing towers from 10 to 23 stories.
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