Here is a story of positive decisions born in sin, as has happened more than once in political circles. Plans for construction in several neighborhoods, which have been waiting for the green light for quite some time, were finally approved recently – but under such negative circumstances that it gives one pause.The urgent need for housing solutions for Jerusalem’s young couples and families is public knowledge. Since the famous Safdie plan – to extend construction in the city, while sacrificing some of the capital’s last green lungs – was canceled, the last few areas in which to build exist only in the post-1967 neighborhoods: Gilo, Har Homa, Ramot and Pisgat Ze’ev. But there are no other real options in Jerusalem in which to build the thousands of sorely needed housing units.The freeze imposed by the government on any new construction in these neighborhoods has raised the ire of most city council representatives.This includes the haredi benches, for whom the lack of construction has become dramatic, as it drives hundreds of couples and young families out of Jerusalem every year.(According to findings at the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies, 40 to 60 percent of residents leaving Jerusalem each year are haredim.) However, another sector of the capital’s population is also suffering from this policy: the Arab residents of Beit Safafa (many of whom are Israeli citizens who moved to Jerusalem from villages in the Galilee).Mayor Nir Barkat has repeatedly criticized the government on the issue with limited success – that is, until the recent terrorist murders in Kiryat Arba and Otniel. Suddenly, US and European pressure was no longer reason enough to freeze construction in Jerusalem, and a few plans – already presented and stymied at the local planning and construction committee of the city council – became viable overnight. But what really incensed Barkat was the announcement by the Prime Minister’s Office presenting the decision to give the go-ahead to these plans as a kind of retaliation for the attacks.“It’s wrong to build houses in Jerusalem as a response to terror,” Barkat declared at a meeting of the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, backed by the majority of city council members. Indeed, not all the council members were happy about the decision, whether haredi or religious-Zionist, as they do not appreciate – to put it mildly – that the unfreezing decision also includes 600 housing units for Arabs in Beit Safafa. But then it appeared that the situation was even more cynical. According to Deputy Mayor Meir Turgeman, head of the local planning and construction committee, there is no infrastructure in the areas where these construction plans are being authorized. Without such infrastructure, not even one apartment can be built. It is the government’s prerogative and responsibility (through the Construction and Housing Ministry), and so far there is no indication that the ministry is moving in that direction.On top of that, there are some 30 families and individuals who are still living in caravans in Givat Hamatos, where a large part of the construction for both Arab and Jewish residents is planned. Here again, there is no sign from the ministry of proposing an alternative housing solution for them.Thus the least that can be said is that the highly publicized declarations about building in Jerusalem as a response to terror may well end up as just another declaration with little, if any, concrete actions backing it up. In short, at least for the moment, there is no real news on the home front for Jewish or Arab residents.