Aryeh Deri and Meir Rubinstein
Aryeh Deri and Meir Rubinstein Beitar Illit spokesperson

Beitar Illit Mayor and Forum of Haredi Local Authorities head Meir Rubinstein asked Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas) to restore the preferential status haredi towns enjoyed and which was revoked under the previous government.

Restoring haredi towns' preferential status was included as part of Shas' coalition agreement at Rubinstein's request. Previously, the towns had been ranked as "National Priority A."

If Beiter Illit were ranked as "National Priority A", 50% of the new housing being built would need to be sold to local residents, instead of the 32% currently required. If the city's preferential status is not restored, many of the city's residents will need to continue renting, since non-local buyers will purchase the homes as an investment.

Haredi couples try to purchase homes immediately after they are wed, and some parents purchase the young couple's home for them as part of the agreements leading up to the wedding.

According to Rubinstein, restoring the city's preferential status will help the city's needy families, since they will pay less money in tuition for schools, preschools, and daycare, and the city's new industrial zone would receive additional funds for development, allowing the city to become more independent and affluent.

"Deri already proved his amazing abilities when he inserted this clause into the coalition agreement," Rubinstein said. "We are therefore requesting his help in carrying it out. It is a crucial step for the haredi local authorities."