A long-term solution for the acute housing shortage in the chareidi sector was approved in a planning stage on Tuesday: a city of between 80,000 and 100,000 people at the Tel Arad Junction near the Dead Sea
The city, to be called Kasif, is slated for completion of detailed planning in 2016, and the Ministry of the Interior says it hopes to begin marketing lots in 2017. This week’s approval by a subcommittee of the national committee on planning clears the way.
The city will extend over 1,600 acres, with high-density construction of 4-5-story buildings and 15-20% private housing units. The plan also includes commercial and business space suitable for the chareidi sector, including educational and religious institutions.
The committee heard and rejected a series of objections based on its social-environmental impact. However, further hearings will be held by the national committee, where objections can again be raised.
This latest decision follows a 2007 decision to establish the Kasif municipal community at the Tel Arad Junction. Three years later, the National Planning and Building Commission approved the plan in principle.
Although chareidi leaders have reacted somewhat unenthusiastically to the project, due to its distance from the center of the country, promised express bus lines to Yerushalayim, Ashdod, Bnei Brak, and other large chareidi communities should help to ease its isolation.