ILA approves controversial affordable housing program

The Israel Land Administration’s managing council approved Housing and Construction Minister Ariel Attias’ affordable housing program Monday, despite heavy criticism over the exclusion of earning power from its eligibility criteria.
A last-minute agreement between Attias, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz on the weight given to military service ensured the vote passed. It now requires only Steinitz’s signature before it becomes law.
The affordable housing program stipulates that the ILA publish “price for occupancy” tenders according to the following criteria: 45 percent of units will be allocated to families with children aged three years or more; 35% will be allocated to families with children aged one or two; and the remaining 20% will be allocated to individuals aged 35 or more, or to families without children.
Priority will be given in 50% of the tenders to specific sectors of the population, according to a points system: men who served in the Israel Defense Forces will receive 20 points, and - following the last-minute amendment - females who did military or national service will receive 10 points. Married couples will be eligible for up to 70 points – dependent on how long they have been married - instead of the 80 points originally proposed by Attias.
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