Kachlon: If Necessary, Gov’t Will Finance Mortgages For ‘Weak’ Buyers

Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, shown here speaking during a Labor, Welfare and Health Committee meeting at the Knesset on March 23. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Israel Finance Minister Moshe Kachlon. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

YERUSHALAYIM - The government’s efforts to subsidize housing, especially via the “price resident” program, has been a great success, Finance Minister Moshe Kachlon said Monday night – and he knows this because of the number of complaints that his office has received from qualified couples who were having trouble getting a mortgage.

The reluctance of banks to offer those mortgages was not going to ruin the program, said Kachlon – and if necessary, the government itself would provide the mortgages.

“For 70 years, there has been a sales process that has bumped up the price of real estate for young couples,” Kachlon said at a real-estate forum. “All of the government land sales in recent months has been in land directed to the ‘price resident’ program,” wherein builders promise to provide a percentage of homes in a project that will be affordable and set aside for qualified families who do not own homes. “In recent months we have sold 30,000 such apartments. True, there are many who want to see this program fail – contractors, banks, speculators, in fact everyone except the young couples who are qualified.

“But we will continue on,” said Kachlon . “This year we will market 70,000 such apartments and we will continue to expand our program in 2017 and 2018. Everyone who qualifies for the program will get a mortgage, even if we have to intervene. The banks are willing to help us out on this.”