Barkat unveils J'lem housing plan

Initiative will make affordable apartments available to young people.

building311 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat on Sunday unveiled an initiative to make housing in the capital more affordable.
“Young people are the oxygen fueling the future of Jerusalem,” Barkat said. “I have no doubt that this revolution, together with the cultural, educational and financial reforms we set in motion, will play an important role in stopping negative immigration from the city.”
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The plan stipulates that housing units be build and sold for a price 20 percent lower than their value on the market, over a period of several years and provided that at least one of the parties purchasing the apartments is under the age of 41 and employed. The initiative is aimed at couples purchasing an apartment for the first time, and is expected to reduce apartment prices by about NIS 200,000-300,000.
If approved, the initiative will be carried out in all neighborhoods of the city - most likely the Western section of it, to prevent the plan from being construed as political in nature - and will also regulate rent rates to a certain extent.
Plan discusses possibilities for cooperation with Hebrew University
Barkat's plan outlined possibilities for expansion and urban renewal, stipulating that 200-300 housing units would be offered at first and that a larger number of units would be built on land owned by the city's municipality.
It also raised various ideas for future cooperation between the city and its major institutions, among them the Hebrew University - whose graduates are discouraged from staying in the city by the lack of opportunities and affordable housing there.
Before it can be executed, the plan must first be approved by the Interior Ministry, which will also mandate the establishment of a committee to determine availability and eligibility and oversee the construction and development process.