Public housing forum dissatisfied with Kahlon moves

Although the advocacy group welcomed their pledge to reduce wait times for 2,700 eligible public housing applicants, they said that tens of thousands of people remained without homes or help.

By
March 2, 2016 17:56
1 minute read.
Moshe Kahlon

Moshe Kahlon. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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The Public Housing Forum on Wednesday expressed dissatisfaction at steps by Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and Construction Minister Yoav Galant to increase public housing, saying the plans did not go nearly far enough.

Though the advocacy group welcomed their pledge to reduce wait times for 2,700 eligible public housing applicants, they said that tens of thousands of people remained without homes or help. Israel’s housing crisis, they said, affected 170,000 people, not just 2,700.

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The group cited the State Comptroller’s Report, who estimated that there 30,000 people in Israel who should be eligible for public housing assistance by current standards, and another 140,000 impoverished people receiving rental assistance that is insufficient to keep them housed.

They gave the example of Eti Chen-Zaken, a disabled mother of two, who was not eligible for public housing because she didn’t have the three children required by the Construction Ministry for public housing.

“It does not make sense to encourage me, a disabled woman living in poverty today, to have more children,” she said.

The state, argued the forum, had to go much further to alleviate the pressures of high housing costs on the poor.

Kahlon spoke at the Globes Israel Real Estate conference Wednesday in Tel Aviv, pushing his buyer’s fixed price plan. Asked where the market is headed in the coming year, he said: “Tens of thousands of young couples will get apartments at reduced prices. The $64,000 question is how the market will behave after tens of thousands of housing units are let go at reduced prices,” he said, according to Globes.

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