In the video: A resident of public housing who has been forced to live on the street since becoming a caregiver (Photo: Yoav Etiel, Editor: Amit Simcha)
S., her husband and their five children live in a three-room apartment measuring only 50 square meters. "Living in a dungeon," is how S. defines the reality of their lives. "It's a life in a pressure cooker that could explode at any moment," she fears, begging her and her family to move into a larger public housing apartment. She said they have been waiting for a new apartment for five years, and right now there is no sign of change on the horizon. In front of them in line are three other families, who are apparently in dire straits and waiting longer for an apartment.
S. and her husband are recognized by the authorities as having a disability of one hundred percent. Their eldest daughter is 14 years old and has four younger siblings. In order to give their daughter, who has special needs, some privacy in the cramped house, the parents moved into the living room and the daughter moved into their own room. The four younger siblings sleep in the extra bedroom, which is very cramped. "I'm begging for help to get us out of the inferno," S. told Walla. S. notes that she has already been offered increased financial assistance and moved into a rented apartment, but due to her complex mental coping, she will not be able to undergo this procedure.
It's hard to see when S. and her family will be able to improve their situation: Today, there are only 48,75 housing units in Israel's public housing system. That's a 206% drop over the past few decades, when the state owned 1962,1 apartments. This is inversely proportional to population growth: in 250 there were 000,9,<> people living in Israel, and today there are just over <> million people living in the country.
The number of public apartments decreased by 75%, and the population grew significantly (Photo: Courtesy of those photographed, Nikki Truk)
The dismal data on the state of public housing was recently provided by the Ministry of Construction and Housing, at the request of Knesset Member Naama Lazimi of the Labor Party, chairwoman of the special committee on youth affairs.
One of the reasons for the dilution of the housing stock is a law from 2013, which allowed tenants to purchase the public apartment in which they lived, in order to guarantee the apartment to their descendants. According to the data provided to Lazimi, from 2013 to the end of 2022, 14.<> thousand housing units were sold from the public housing stock to those legally eligible. As a result, NIS <> billion has accumulated in the public housing fund, but its utilization is proceeding slowly and most of them remain lying in the coffers.
On the other hand, someone who according to the criteria was entitled to purchase the apartment in which he lived in the past cannot do so today. Five months ago, Minister of Construction and Housing Yitzhak Goldknopf decided not to extend the law. According to agreements between the coalition and opposition parties, the law will be brought back to the Knesset plenum in the summer session, but so far no draft has been submitted to it and it is not yet clear when the law will be implemented again, which many families enjoyed.
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The response of the Ministry of Housing
"The Ministries of Construction and Housing and Finance signed a budget summary in November 2021, according to which 1,700 housing units will be purchased for the public housing stock. So far, 520 apartments have been purchased.
In addition, in the budget summary for 2023-2024, it was decided that the summary from the previous government would be extended, according to which housing units would be purchased from the public housing fund, and then the Ministry of Finance would budget from its sources for the continued purchase of 1,700 apartments. At the same time, sums of more than NIS 400 million have been allocated for maintenance, renovations and expansion of the service basket for residents.
It should be noted that our firm has known and accompanied the applicant and her family who has been living in public housing since 2014. Two years ago, our office approved the family's request to replace a larger apartment on a lower floor. However, her application for promotion as a waiting person was rejected in 2022, due to a long waiting list in public housing."
- News in Israel
- Society and Welfare
- Public housing
- Ministry of Construction and Housing
- Naama Lazimi