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New Commissions to Approve 10,000 Homes per Annum

Cabinet decides to formulate National Housing Commissions Law to cut through red tape and solve housing shortage.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 6/19/2011, 5:55 PM / Last Update: 6/19/2011, 6:09 PM

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The Cabinet authorized Sunday the formation of a ministerial committee to complete the formulation and legislation of the National Housing Commissions Law. The purpose, according to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, is to cut through red tape and solve Israel’s housing shortage within a few years’ time. Netanyahu wants 10,000 new apartments made available every year.

“There is a housing shortage in the State of Israel,” Netanyahu told the Cabinet.  “Many young people are obliged to live with their parents, and a few with their grandparents. Young couples, discharged soldiers and students feel that their dream of purchasing an apartment is moving further away due to rising prices. Prices are rising because there is a shortage of apartments in the state of Israel. There is no supply of apartments because not enough apartments are being planned, and not enough are being marketed.”
 
“We started to resolve the marketing side with an historic decision, a historic reform, when we signed – several weeks ago – a major reform at the Israel Land Administration. We still have to deal with the law on pensions for ILA employees and I hope that this will be done during the Knesset summer recess. But even this giant reform is not enough.”
 
“There is one more condition that must be carried out together with those steps that we have already taken. We mean a reform of apartment planning. Completing the legislative process for this reform will take at least a year or two. Many factors regarding environmental protection and others, are lengthening the process.
 
“It is for this reason that we would like to bypass the bureaucracy for 1.5 years with the Housing Commissions Law, which will be submitted to the Cabinet today.  I am certain that the Cabinet will authorize a ministerial committee to quickly deal with the law so that the permanent planning reform might be completed. We will be able to close the gaps and bring about the building of apartments.
 
“We would like to bring approximately 10,000 apartments per annum.  We have a shortfall of 80,000-100,000 apartments, which significantly hurts young Israelis and we are simply going to fill the shortfall by an emergency action, i.e. the housing commissions. Therefore, I am requesting not only ministers' support today but also MKs' support during the expedited legislative process, which I would like to complete before the summer recess.
 
“If we have both rapid planning and quick marketing, we will be able to resolve the State of Israel's housing problems.  This will not happen overnight by the way, but the giant reforms that we enacted in 2003-2004 have proven themselves vis-à-vis the Israeli economy. We will do exactly the same thing with basic reforms of the housing market and in the future we will see positive results. The State of Israel and the housing market will benefit from this for many years. These are fundamental reforms."