Gov't approves housing reform

Bill moves on to Knesset; minister Erdan only one to vote against reform.

Netanyahu reassures (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Netanyahu reassures
(photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
 The government approved on Sunday the reform in the Housing and Construction Law, spearheaded by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
The reformed bill will now be voted in the Knesset plenum, after the High Court of Justice rejected an appeal by environmental organizations late last week.
In the cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said the reform would be “a primeopportunity to bring about growth. There is demand on the part of thepublic on one side, and bureaucratic entanglement by the state on theother. Our triangle of growth is the reforms in transportation, theIsrael Lands’ Authority and the housing and construction reform.”
Netanyahu said the government invested a lot of energy in the reformsand doesn’t want to be “stuck in the current situation but moveforward.”
Environment Protection Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) was the onlygovernment minister who opposed the reform. He said the reform puts theinterest of development vastly ahead of the need to preserve openspaces. Erdan protested the fact that various planning committees weremanned by representatives with an interest in development andconstruction but no representatives of environmental groups.