The city of Beersheba has joined forces with the Association for Better Housing (Ha'aguda Letarbut Hadiyur) to set up a fund to enable residents in old apartment blocks to carry out much-needed renovations on their buildings, reports www.local.co.il. The NIS 200,000 fund will provide loans of up to NIS 8,000 at no interest and with easy repayment terms to each resident in a building more than 10 years old, with the aim of enabling the public areas of the building to be improved and upgraded. According to the report, the initiative is aimed at assisting apartment owners who would otherwise be unable to afford to renovate their buildings. It also aims to prevent planned or progressing renovations in a building from being stopped by a minority of apartment owners who refuse to pay. The report said the average cost of a standard renovation in a four-story building was NIS 10,000 for each resident, and the fund would provide loans of up to NIS 8,000 to each resident, repayable over two years at no interest and with no requirement for guarantors. The loans are available only for private residential apartment buildings, not for public housing blocks or for apartments used for business purposes. Deputy Mayor Yigal Obshevetz, who is heading the project, said it was hoped that residents would take up this "important project" and that work could begin soon.