The government on Sunday approved for legislation a proposal by Finance Minister Yair Lapid to set up a government corporation that will advance projects for the construction of rental apartments for families and singles in Israel.
The corporation will approve not only building projects, but will also approve infrastructure, community centers and business centers, public transportation and highways, and other projects that will help encourage construction of rental units, and lowering the cost of housing.
The proposal for the corporation was first made last September, when Lapid approved the allocation of billions of shekels for the construction of rental apartments and other projects that will make homes more affordable. Lapid has said on numerous occasions that he wants to see the construction of as many as 150,000 rental units throughout Israel over the next decade.
The legislation was approved for a Knesset vote after a discussion by the Knesset subcommittee on affordable housing, chaired by Lapid. The corporation will be wholly-owned by the government, and will be the government's main tool to ensure affordable housing.
Ohad Danos, chairman of the Israel Land Appraiser's Association, expressed doubt that the plan would succeed.
“This is a waste of taxpayer's money,” he said. “The ministers do not realize that you build apartments with actions, not words. There is no economic incentive for builders to construct 150,000 rental units, so it will not happen.”