Daily Israel Report

Housing Minister Reveals Emergency Cost-Lowering Plan

Housing Minister Uri Ariel commits to lowering prices by 2014, reveals ‘evict and build’ scheme.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 11/17/2013, 1:08 PM

Uri Ariel explains his plan
Uri Ariel explains his plan
Israel news photo: Hezki Ezra

Housing Minister Uri Ariel has revealed a new plan that he says could lead to 100,000 new homes being built.

Israel must take action now to lower the price of housing, he declared. “We have to find a way for citizens to pay less for an apartment,” he stated.

“The government must intervene in the market in the short term, so that we can see a reduction in prices by 2014,” he added.

Ariel’s new plan involves evacuating residents from 25,000 apartments in order to build 125,000 apartments in their place. “The suggested solution is based on building new buildings on available land without the involvement of entrepreneurs,” he explained in a press conference Sunday.

The “evacuate and build” project would run concurrently with existing plans to reduce the cost of housing, he said.

Housing Ministry Director Shlomo Ben-Eliyahu said 70 neighborhoods across Israel have been deemed suitable for participation in the “evacuate and build” scheme. Among them are the Katamon neighborhood of Jerusalem and the Aravei Nahal neighborhood in Givatayim, he said.

“Residents should not worry… The neighborhoods will change, and apartments will be cheaper,” he said.

The high cost of housing has become a major issue in recent years. By the summer of 2013, the cost of housing had risen 100% in seven years, and prices continued to rise in the third quarter of 2013.