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One in 20 New Homes will be Public Housing

Shas Minister Atias agrees with communist MK that use of public housing funds by Jewish Agency is "a scandal."
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 11/10/2011, 2:15 AM

Housing costs protest in Jerusalem
Housing costs protest in Jerusalem
Ben Bresky

The Minister of Construction and Housing, Ariel Atias of Shas, agreed Wednesday with communist (Hadash) MK Dov Henin that funds that belong to public housing were inappropriately transferred to the Jewish Agency.

Henin presented a parliamentary question in which he claimed that funds raised by sale of public housing units were transferred to the Jewish Agency. This, he noted, contradicted a government decision to reinvest funds from public housing in building new public housing units.

"The right to public housing in Israel has been emptied of meaning," Henin accused. "What was meant as a last security net for citizens who cannot purchase reasonable housing solutions has turned into a solution that is being neglected by the government. Who decided to use public housing funds to construct a road to Maaleh Adumim? Why was 40 percent of the income from sale of public housing transferred to the Jewish Agency?"

In his reply, Minister Atias announced that 5% of all housing units to be built from now on by his ministry or by the Israel Lands Authority would be allocated to public housing. He called the transfer of public housing funds to the Jewish Agency "a scandal."

Shas Chairman Eli Yishai has promised to submit a bill that will make it easier for low income Israelis to be eligible for public housing.