(photo credit: olderadults.org)
The cabinet approved a new proposal on Sunday to build 5,000 residential units for needy elderly who are eligible for rent subsidies and who are waiting for public housing.
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The proposal by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Absorption Minister Sofa Landver and Construction and Housing Minister Ariel Atias aims to address the housing plight among this population group.
Prime Minister Netanyahu said that this was an important endeavor, "This meets an existing public and social concern for the neediest population in Israel today. This decision is part of a range of solutions that the government is creating for the elderly. This is very important to us. We have an obligation to render assistance and provide each citizen with the possibility of living with dignity."
According to a press release by the Prime Minister's Office, the government will assist the elderly with approximately NIS 1,200 in rental assistance per month. The needy elderly will pay a rent of approximately NIS 200-300 per month (a proportion that will not exceed 8% of old-age support payments).
"The government must be capable of providing housing solutions for its citizens, and the effort must be shared by all relevant ministries. This is an additional step that indicates hope for a comprehensive solution to the public housing problem," Absorption Minister Landver said.
According to the decision, local councils and national bodies will be
able to establish sheltered housing for the elderly on land designated
for public use. It was also determined that in order to allow councils
to build the sheltered housing, they will also be able to establish
businesses in these areas, the profits of which will be directed to
financing the construction and maintenance if the housing.
Currently, there are approximately 35-40,000 family units (couples or
individuals) that are eligible for public housing operated by the
Absorption Ministry. The majority of elderly in the framework of the
decision are new immigrants, defined as second- and third-cycle
Housing and Construction Minister Atias said, "This is an important
decision and constitutes a breakthrough in Israel Land Administration
policy for the benefit of the elderly. Land is a public resource and
for the public's benefit, not a means to milk citizens for money.
Therefore, it is proper to provide the elderly with free land."