"Social" protest (file)
"Social" protest (file) Israel news photo: Flash 90

There is a desperate shortage of public housing in the city of Carmiel in northern Israel, and if something is not done soon, some families on the waiting list may take “extreme measures,” Deputy Mayor of Carmiel Rina Greenberg warned Wednesday in an interview with Arutz Sheva.

Most of the roughly 600 families waiting for public housing are immigrant families, she said. Some have been waiting for as long as 15 years.

In the meantime, the families receive a housing stipend from the government, but it often does not cover the cost of rent.

“Over the past half a year I’m always hearing from the public. The cases are very serious. There have already been a few suicides in the past year,” Greenberg said.

The situation is dire, she warned. “I have a case of an immigrant who is 82 years old and has no children, who has nowhere to live, he gets a stipend from the state but it is lower than the cost of rent. I have single mothers who are barely getting  by.

“They bring struggling families into the city from elsewhere in the country, and neglect the residents of Carmiel,” she accused.

“They tell us there is no more housing in the public housing. Companies like [public housing construction firms] Amigur, Amidar and Halamish tell us that they already sold all the housing,” she continued.

“The Ministry of Absorption is aware of the figures, but for some reason the Housing Ministry is unaware,” she said.

Greenberg recently sent an angry letter to Housing Minister Uri Ariel and Minister of Immigrant Absorption Sofa Landver regarding the situation.

“This is a powder keg that could go off at any moment. There is a real concern that someone from the homeless families could do something desperate and hurt himself, as has happened in the past,” she warned.