The city of Arad in southern Israel will be given some NIS 1.4 billion to be invested in the construction of new residential, commercial and industrial units in the city, Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Construction and Housing Minister Ze'ev Elkin announced on Thursday.
The agreement, signed between the government and the Arad Municipality, will see the city expanded by some 5,000 new housing units.
In addition, empty lots within the boundaries of the city were designated as areas for the construction of commercial and industrial centers.
The population of Arad is expected to jump by 50%, an unprecedented rise in Israel's southern periphery. As a result, a cooperative plan was formulated between the local municipality and the Housing and Constructing Ministry, which will ensure organizational development at the local level ahead of the absorption of new residents.
As part of the deal, the infrastructure work needed for the construction projects will be funded by the government. In addition, some NIS 200 million of the funding will go to upgrading the existing infrastructure in Arad.
NIS 80 million will be invested in establishing the presence of public institutions in the planned new neighborhoods, as well as promoting it in existing neighborhoods across the city.
Lapid: Arad is the future of Israel
"When we're investing in Arad, we're actually investing in the future of the State of Israel," Prime Minister Yair Lapid said. "A strong Arad is in the national interest."
"When we're investing in Arad, we're actually investing in the future of the State of Israel"Prime Minister Yair Lapid
"A new neighborhood, built from the ground up, is more than just steel and cement...it means more job opportunities, new shopping centers, schools and police stations.
"Our goal is that the next generation of Arad residents will be able to live a respectful and wealthy life in Arad...we also want young Israelis to see Arad as an option, with good employment and housing opportunities," Lapid added.
"This agreement will see Arad develop the crucial infrastructure needed to construct new neighborhoods and invest in existing ones," Housing and Construction Minister Ze'ev Elkin said.