Hoteliers Say Tourist Rentals Eating Up Housing Supply

YERUSHALAYIM -

Israeli hotel owners continued their war on short-term apartment rentals to tourists with a letter to the Housing and Finance Ministries charging that thousands of such units are contributing to the acute housing shortage in the country, Globes reported on Sunday.

The Israel Hotels Association CEO Noaz Bar-Nir sent the missive to Minister of Construction and Housing Yoav Galant and Ministry of Finance Budget Department director Amir Levi.

“There are as many as 20,000 apartments rented to tourists today in Israel – and that number is growing. In 2012, there were only 900 such apartments,” wrote Bar-Nir.

“When will you understand that this phenomenon is growing in Israel, that it is shrinking the available supply of housing, and thus hurting your plan to increase the supply, while also driving up prices? And how much revenue is lost to the economy because all of this takes place in the shadow economy?”

Bar-Nir further claimed that the issue was not being properly addressed because of a conflict of interest involving chairman of the housing cabinet Avigdor Yitzhaki.