Capital's severe housing shortage highlighted on J'lem Day

Jerusalem is country’s largest, poorest city, according to CBS statistics; Barkat: We need 50,000 additional housing units to meet population growth.

June 1, 2011 02:38
2 minute read.
Jerusalem residents

Jerusalem residents_521. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Ahead of Jerusalem Day, Mayor Nir Barkat vowed to continue to build in all parts of the city at a special Knesset session regarding the housing shortage in the capital.

“We need 50,000 additional housing units in town to meet anticipated population growth in the coming years and we will do this by condensing and expanding into existing neighborhoods,” Barkat said at the session. He said that two-thirds of the 50,000 units would be for Jewish residents and one third would be for Arab residents, in keeping with current population ratios.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

PM: We'll continue to build, develop in Jerusalem
‘Holding the world in the middle’

Barkat added that one initiative the city is pursuing is encouraging businesses located in apartments to move into commercial areas, to free up residential areas for housing.

The biggest problem that the mayor is facing in building more apartments is a lack of land. Last Wednesday, Barkat and Interior Minister Eli Yishai announced that Jerusalem had bought 250 dunams (25 hectares) of land from Kibbutz Ramat Rahel in order to build 1,600 apartments in a new neighborhood to be call Morodot Arnona.

According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, construction was started on 2,090 apartments in 2010, similar to the 2,120 started in 2009 and significantly higher than the 1,590 started in 2008.

Jerusalem is also the country’s poorest city, according to statistics released by the CBS ahead of Jerusalem Day. A staggering 12.1 percent of households have no breadwinner, the highest rate in the country, and more than double the figure in Tel Aviv, where 4.9% of households have no breadwinner. The city also has an employment rate of 46% that was significantly lower than the national employment rate of 57.3%.

The city’s ultra-Orthodox population is growing substantially.

During the 2000- 2001 school year, approximately 57.3% of students enrolled in municipal Jewish schools in Jerusalem were in the haredi framework. In the 2009-2010 year, 64.7% of enrolled students were in haredi programs.

Jerusalem celebrated the 44th anniversary of the Six Day War as both the capital and the largest city in Israel.

In 1948, the city had 82,900 residents, while in 2010, this had grown to 789,000, or roughly 10% of the country’s population.

The city grew by nearly 16,000 residents in 2010, despite the fact that more than 7,000 left the city for Tel Aviv, Ma’aleh Adumim, Bnei Brak, Betar Illit and other destinations.

In 2010, 2,547 new immigrants moved to Jerusalem, an increase of 11% over the previous year.

The city used the holiday to highlight some unique facts about Jerusalem, such as the fact that there are 2,000 archeological sites located within the city boundaries.

Jerusalem also has 1,253 km. of roads, only 28 km. of which are highways.

In an effort to introduce some color into the city’s 80 squares, the city has planted 420,000 seasonal flowers across the capital since Pessah.

Related Content

August 31, 2014
Rioting resumes throughout east Jerusalem Saturday night