Housing Minister Rabbi Litzman Presents Plan to Offer Grants for Apartments in Periphery

YERUSHALAYIM -
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Housing Minister Rabbi Yaakov Litzman. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90/File)

Housing Minister Rabbi Yaakov Litzman (UTJ) on Tuesday presented the Knesset’s Finance Committee with a six-stage plan to accelerate the construction of additional homes, in the hopes that it will help Israel extricate itself from the economic crisis caused by coronavirus.

Rabbi Litzman’s plan includes offering grants to those purchasing secondhand apartments in the periphery, Negev and Galilee; increasing the mortgage given to those eligible who are purchasing an apartment in the periphery; a five-year plan for infrastructure, transportation and drainage; a plan for budgeting for classrooms as part of the implementation of general agreements; and increasing the subsidies for development in towns in the periphery.

The plan also includes differential marketing, which is expected to bring NIS 3-4 billion in profit, by dividing Israel into “luxury,” “in-demand,” and “peripheral” areas and adjusting accordingly the way homes and lots are priced.

Rabbi Litzman said the plan is “great news for the periphery.”

“I am sure it will succeed, b’ezras Hashem. The maximum price for an apartment will be NIS 700,000 ($200,000), tops. The discounts will be great, and they will be given in the Negev and Galilee, for first-time buyers only.”

He also said that he intends to advance specific plans for the chareidi and Arab communities, emphasizing that no sector will be left out.

Finance Committee Chairman MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni said that “the issue of housing is critical for Israeli society in general, and it’s not going to be easy.”

“The issue of coronavirus is currently taking everyone’s attention, and we pray it will be over soon, so your work is important in ensuring we are not left with empty hands afterwards, for the sake of all those many young couples who cannot purchase an apartment.”

MK Rabbi Yisrael Eichler suggested that the State offer rental apartments for young couples.