Chareidi councilmen are angry that plans to add 15,000 apartments to Yerushalayim’s existing neighborhoods include nothing for the city’s chareidi populace. The plans call for adding 4,000 to 5,000 apartments in the Reches Lavan area near Kiryat Yovel, 2,500 below the Arnona neighborhood, 2,600 in the controversial Givat Hamatos area towards Kever Rochel, as well as smaller groups of apartments in other neighborhoods.
“It is inconceivable that at the same time the Israeli government announces interest in solving the chareidi housing crisis specifically in Yerushalayim, the Finance and Construction Ministries are authorizing thousands of apartments which are unfit for the chareidi sector,” Councilman Yochanan Weitzman said.
Councilman Pini Ezra added that most of the plans call for buildings of twenty to thirty stories without sukkah balconies which are unfit for chareidim. He noted that his request for the first ten stories of such buildings to include sukkah balconies was so far unheeded. He said he was trying to unite all chareidim under the slogan, “If there is no solution for the chareidim, there will be no solution for anyone.”
Meanwhile, government officials at a real estate conference in Eilat said there was little prospect of housing prices going down this year despite the desperate efforts of Finance Minister Moshe Kachlon.
Eliav Ben Shimon, chairman of the National Association of Builders, noted that a scheme to build subsidized apartments was a key factor for further price increases.
“The program is not the solution to the housing industry crisis and therefore we will finish the year with a price increase of no less than 8%,” he said.