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Where did we go? The dismal state of public housing in Israel - voila! Real estate


The inventory is running out, the attitude is disrespectful, a solution is not in sight: in a letter sent to the Ministry of Construction and Housing, the providers of aid to poor populations ask to shed light on the dismal state of public housing

A housing apartment in Givatayim where time stood still in the 1960s (Photo: Courtesy of those photographed, Niki Truk)

"We request and wish to contact you, following your entry into this important position": last night (Tuesday, 31/1)

a letter of 9 A4 pages

arrived at the Ministry of Construction and Housing seeking to shed light on injustices and serious failures in the public housing system in Israel - in the hope of finding a listening ear from the writers , the new minister, Yitzhak Goldknopf, and the CEO of his office, Yehuda Morgenstern, with the aim of promoting a dedicated meeting in which they will discuss measures to correct the injustices and failures they encounter every day, as well as promote the realization of the rights of tens of thousands of families in Israel who live in public housing or are waiting for public housing.

The letter sent was signed by the representatives of the civil society organizations and the supervisors of the legal clinics in the faculties of law in institutions of higher education throughout the country, who provide assistance and legal representation free of charge and are engaged in the exploitation, protection and promotion of the economic and social rights of the populations living in poverty in Israel, and in particular in the field of public housing.

"The right to housing," write the respondents in the letter, "has been recognized in the ruling as part of the right to a minimum existence with dignity, but its realization among the populations living in poverty depends to a large extent on active actions taken by the government, and in particular, the Ministry of Construction and Housing, and on the extent of the ministry's commitment to improving the well-being and reality of the lives of these populations."

"A concise and non-exhaustive list"

"We would like to open up and alert you," it says, "that one of the general, central and ongoing problems in public housing, which affects all the issues that will be detailed below, is the ongoing reduction in the stock of apartments in public housing, contrary to government commitments, plans and decisions over the years."

In the detailed letter, as mentioned, a "concise and non-exhaustive list" (as it was written in the original) of the main injustices, dangers and failures in the housing system in Israel as of 2023 is attached, as well as suggestions for steps to be taken to correct them.

The main injustices and failures, as the letter details, are: the expiration of the public housing law;

Evictions and treatment of "invaders";

Continuous reduction and erosion of eligibility conditions for public housing;

serious omissions in the condition and manner of maintenance of the apartments in public housing;

Erosion of the rent financial assistance amounts;

Failures in the conduct of the housing companies with the tenants in the public housing;

Urban renewal, violation of tenants' rights and refusal to increase inventory;

how do you fix?

As of the sending of the letter, the "Public Housing Law (Purchase Rights), 1998", which is intended to allow veteran families in public housing to purchase their apartment at a reduced price, thus allowing them to acquire bequeathable capital for the first time, and to improve their socio-economic status and that of their descendants - will remain in effect until 2/14/2023.

"As long as the law does expire on the aforementioned date," the senders write, "there will be a deep and irreversible damage to the right of the tenants in public housing to a minimal existence with dignity and a roof over their heads, as well as their ability and the ability of their children to get out of the cycle of poverty and improve their situation for the future.

We ask you to act to extend the validity of the law, at the very least to hold a public hearing, involving the residents of the public housing, in order to prevent this serious and irreversible damage."

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A housing apartment in Givatayim where time stood still in the 1960s (Photo: Courtesy of those photographed, Niki Truk)

Regarding the eligibility conditions for public housing,

it is written that "the situation reflected by these moves is of a systematic and consistent reduction of the eligible population and the eligibility criteria for public housing, which will prevent many people, whose reality of life and the reality of life in the State of Israel and the real estate market does not allow them to finance renting an apartment in the market The free, to be entitled to the only solution that may help them break the cycle of poverty, is public housing.

We would like to allow a public discussion with the participation of public housing residents and civil society activists, so that the criteria are updated in a way that reflects the reality of living in poverty and taking into account the economic reality in Israel."

Regarding the policy towards "invaders",

the authors suggest that "these evictions should be stopped immediately, until a long-term policy is formulated, that minimizes the harm to the right of these families to a minimal existence with dignity and a roof over their heads."

The public housing in Be'er Sheva (Photo: Shai Makhlouf)

Regarding the state and manner of maintenance of the apartments in public housing

, it is stated that "the Ministry of Housing must act immediately to correct the situation - allocate the necessary budgets, re-examine the contracts and effectively supervise and control the maintenance of the apartments on an ongoing basis. This is, of course, alongside significantly increasing the stock of apartments by Direct construction and purchase".

Regarding urban renewal,

it is written that, "Urban renewal is a real opportunity for the well-being of public housing residents, but unfortunately, in the current reality, urban renewal is actually becoming a tool that may deprive disadvantaged residents of their rights. Also, urban renewal is an opportunity for those waiting for public housing Therefore, we need to ensure that the urban renewal will also serve as a tool to increase the stock of public housing for the tens of thousands of families who have been waiting in line for years."

A housing apartment in Givatayim where time stood still in the 1960s (Photo: Courtesy of those photographed, Niki Truk)

before it causes irreversible damage to the residents of the public housing"

In conclusion, the representatives of the civil organizations and law faculties write that "public housing is a central tool for reducing gaps and providing a social safety net for disadvantaged populations and as of today. As of today, the state is neglecting public housing, taking actions that widen the gaps and harming these populations and refraining from taking the necessary steps to correct the situation ".

"Public housing is at a significant crossroads - as long as the expiration of the Purchase Rights Law is not prevented, a massive purchase of apartments is not carried out, a fundamental change is not carried out in the manner and service awareness of the housing companies, irreparable damage will be caused to the residents of public housing and the populations that need it, and to their right to a minimal existence with dignity and roof".

Minister Goldknopf: Will the letter writers find a listening ear? (Photo: Reuven Castro)

"We appeal to you," the writers implore the Minister of Construction and Housing and the director general of his office, "so that you act without delay to correct the distortions listed above and act to promote significant steps necessary to correct the situation, before it is too late.

" "First and foremost, a general plan for housing rehabilitation is needed the public that will lead to a significant increase in the stock of public apartments.

Such a plan was issued by the Ministry of Housing in the past and it included an annual inventory increase of 7,500 apartments per year for a decade, which would come from building a plan to purchase apartments, but unfortunately the plan was not implemented and therefore we were faced with the grim reality of a tremendous shortage of public housing.

In addition to that, the issues we have raised here must be urgently addressed in order to ensure that the right to housing will indeed have real meaning in the State of Israel."

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Source: walla

All life articles on 2023-02-01

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