'Half of the apartments should go to Beitar Illit residents'

Beitar Illit mayor: 50% of new apartments being built should go to city's residents, says many residents are eligible for public housing.

Michal Levi ,

Meir Rubinstein
Meir Rubinstein
Yaakov Lederman, Flash 90

Israel's Housing and Construction Ministry in the coming weeks is expected to begin construction of 755 housing units in Beitar Illit.

These apartments are being allotted to buyers through the "Mechir Lemishtaken" lottery program. This program allows Israelis to choose a project they are interested in and sign up to enter the lottery. The apartment can then be rented out, but it may not be sold for five years.

Beitar Illit Mayor Meir Rubinstein met with Housing and Construction Ministry officials and insisted that they change the project and turn 50% of the apartments into public housing for the city's needy population.

"There are thousands of Beitar Illit residents who are currently renting but who are eligible for public housing according to the Housing Ministry's criteria," Rubinstein said. "There is no logic in forcing these people to compete for these apartments together with other people from all over the country."

"Beitar Illit residents who currently live in rental apartments should be preferred over those who do not live in the city. In order to preserve the proper balance, at least 50% of the apartments should go to Beitar Illit residents."

Beitar Illit currently has a population of 55,000, and hundreds of new apartments are being built and bought. Next month, the cornerstone for the city's third area will be laid.