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Ketzaleh: Lower Housing Prices Not An 'Impossible Dream'

To lower housing prices, said Ya'akov Katz (Ketzaleh), the government needs to remember housing crises of the past.
By David Lev
First Publish: 5/5/2013, 9:57 PM

Ketzaleh
Ketzaleh
Israel news photo: Flash 90

It seems that no matter what the government tries to reduce the price of apartments and homes in Israel, they keep rising. Now, former MK Ya'akov Katz (Ketzaleh), currently chairman of the Arutz Sheva Group, says he has a solution – more Chinese workers in the short run, and more courses to train and graduate Israelis for the construction agency in the long run.

“During the days of the large immigrations from Russia and the former Soviet Union, in 1991 and 1992, I worked together with then-Housing Minister Ariel Sharon,” Ketzaleh told Arutz Sheva radio in an interview. “We built 120,000 housing units within a very short period of time,” an almost unthinkable number today, given the relative snail's pace of housing construction.

Most of those apartments, Ketzaleh said, were built and sold by the state, on land belonging to the Israel Lands Administration. The outlays came from the state budget, and the government made its money back on the sale of the apartments. “That kind of construction can result in 100,000 units within 2-3 years,” he said.

In order to get the construction going, “the government needs to bring in 30,000 to 40,000 workers from China,” who are experts at quick and efficient construction. “Their presence will lower the cost of building by contractors. In addition, we need more courses for a mass retraining of Israelis to learn and work in construction,” Ketzaleh added.