Quick Fix for Housing Shortage

North Tel Aviv tent protest

Whereas the tent-city protesters around Israel are demanding a quick-fix to these chronic problems, which have developed over decades, there is very little in the way of practical plans for achieving such a quick improvement.

There are undoubtedly hardships finding affordable housing in Israel. This combines with high food and other living expenses, and relatively low salaries.

In a 2011 survey (http://www.citymayors.com/features/cost_survey.html) of the cost of living in international cities, for example, Tel Aviv, is ranked #24, which makes it the most expensive city to live in in the Middle East.

Ben Ari, June 2009Meantime, right wing politicians MK Michael Ben-Ari (photo) Itamar Ben-Gvir and Baruch Marzel, are apparently now proposing a three part plan, which promises to speedily generate tens of thousands of apartments and houses to the market, so reducing prices for Israeli house buyers and renters.

1. There is currently an effective freeze on building starts in Yehuda & Shomron. Plans are stalled, for political reasons (mainly at the Ministry of Defense), on over 10,000 houses/apartment units. So item #1 is to issue permits for all new building programs in Yehuda & Shomron.

2. There is also a slow-down, due to political pressure, on new building programs in Jerusalem. Removing that bottle neck will apparently immediately create a further 15,000 units.

3. Illegal immigrants from Sudan and other African countries, have recently taken up mass-residence in Israel, mainly in South Tel Aviv. Ben-Ari (who has set up a liaison office in South Tel Aviv to focus on this issue) estimates they occupy 15,000 housing units. Expelling these illegal immigrant workers would therefore free-up those units for Israeli citizens.

There is currently debate in the Ben-Ari camp, whether to therefore link hands with the social justice demonstrators, to find common cause.


  1. Yes, expelling the illegal immigrants would free up a lot of apartments! But who will fix up these apartments so they can be liveable?

  2. And what about taking some of the money currently being given to Hareidim and those wanting to live in Yehuda and Shomron and give it to other cities?


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