Urban Renewal Council to Revive Cities, Say MKs

YERUSHALAYIM -
A run-down area of central Tel Aviv. Photo by Nicky Kelvin/Flash90.
A rundown area of central Tel Aviv. (Nicky Kelvin/Flash90)

After intense discussions in the Knesset, a bill to establish an urban renewal council to revitalize the centers of cities throughout Israel was authorized. The bill was authored by MK Eli Cohen, after deliberations with the Finance Ministry and the Housing Ministry.

Among the tasks of the council will be to increase the amount of housing in cities. Many of the centers of Israeli cities have substandard housing that is close to uninhabitable, built decades ago and now very dilapidated. Many homes are in need of renovations and face-lifts. There are several programs that provide funding, tax breaks and assistance to contractors who take on renovation jobs, including demolition and reconstruction plans and Tama 38, which provides funds to modernize homes. The council will coordinate the projects, matching them up with the government assistance.

The Finance Ministry said that the council will be a key factor in helping to lower the price of housing and increasing the stock of available apartments.