’20 Percent Plan’ Could Lower Housing Prices, Say MKs

Construction of new residential buildings in the Northern Israeli city of Harish. Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Flash90
Construction of new residential buildings in the northern Israeli city of Charish. (Lior Mizrahi/Flash90)

YERUSHALAYIM - A new proposal would give contractors a discount on the purchase of state land for construction projects – in return for some of the apartments completed in projects. The bill, co-authored and sponsored by MKs Eitan Cabel, Yoel Chasson, Omer Bar-Lev, Zuhaie Bahloul, Nachman Shai, Ayelet Nachmias (Zionist Camp), Karine Elcharrar (Yesh Atid), and Abdullah Abu Ma’aruf (Joint List), would stipulate that the state receive 20 percent of homes built on state land, in return for a discount on the full price of the land.

“The housing situation in Israel is worsening,” the bill’s authors said in its preamble. “There is no doubt that the price of land is an essential part of the rising costs of housing, and is a major component in those high prices. In previous years, a model similar to what we are proposing succeeded in reducing the price of housing by 20 percent.”

The apartments transferred to the government as part of the plan could be used for discount housing under the price target or other programs, or used as public housing for needy families, the MKs said. In addition, they could constitute the roots of a rental program for apartments, a project that many governments have tried to get off the ground but have failed to do.