At a Knesset discussion on housing prices, United Torah Judaism MK Rabbi Menachem Eliezer Mozes again urged Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon to adopt a plan he had proposed to grant NIS 100,000 to families in need seeking to buy homes. The plan would provide the grant to buyers of homes selling for at least NIS 800,000.
“I think we can all agree on the severity of the housing shortage and the high price of housing,” MK Rabbi Mozes said during the Knesset discussion. “The Finance Minister proclaimed at a recent meeting that housing prices are falling, and if this the case I congratulate him on this. With that, I believe the plan that he has been promoting – the Price Resident plan – can be improved upon. There are still thousands of young couples, many with small children, who are living in basements and bomb shelters in terrible conditions.”
The Price Resident program, in which the government gives significant discounts on land to contractors who commit to build a number of apartments priced below market rates, was not the ideal solution for these families, said MK Rabbi Mozes. “At best it will be five or six years before the homes they buy under the program are built, and meanwhile the expenses will pile up for families, erasing the discount they realized from buying a Price Resident-project home. I am positive that all would agree that instead of that project, it would be better for these families to receive NIS 100,000 for a down payment and qualify for a mortgage for an NIS 800,000 home, without having to wait. Thus the solution to the housing crisis is readily available.
“One hundred seventeen thousand couples are waiting for a turn to buy a Price Resident home,” the MK said. “The Finance Minister said that there were 50,000 new homes that were available right now, but that contractors refuse to reduce prices for. Open up the market, help people buy some of the second-hand homes on the market and ease the pressure, and the prices on those new apartments will fall,” he added.