"We are keeping our promises and fixing longstanding distortions. These distortions gave priority to people who did not serve in the army and who do not work over those who work and serve in the army."
Government Ends Haredi Favoritism In Public Housing
Shmarya Rosenberg • Failedmessiah.com
Earlier today, the Government of Israel’s Housing Cabinet approved all the items in the government’s housing plan that were put to a vote today, the Jerusalem Post reported.
The Housing Cabinet is chaired by Minister of Finance Yair Lapid, head of the Yesh Atid Party.
The Housing Cabinet ended the marriage criterion for affordable housing, which discriminated in favor of haredim who often marry by age 18 by giving couples who had been married longer first crack at affordable and public housing.
Advantages for large families were cut to match those of families with three children. Haredim often have extremely large families with many children.
Most significantly, only couples who work full time (under the existing government housing definition) are now eligible for long term leases or reduced purchasing prices – two option non-working haredi yeshiva students frequently took advantage of, often to the exclusion of non-haredim.
To placate haredi coalition partners, previous governments – especially the last government headed by Prime Minister Netanyahu – skewed the public housing criteria to favor non-working haredim over poor working and disabled non-haredim.
"We are keeping our promises and fixing longstanding distortions. These distortions gave priority to people who did not serve in the army and who do not work over those who work and serve in the army," Lapid reportedly said.
“The new criteria for affordable housing put the working man in the center but, at the same time, do not harm the haredi public or minorities, and encourage them to enter the labor force in a gradual and appropriate way,” Housing Minister Uri Ariel.
The new Public Housing Law that allows long-time residents of government housing – including haredim – to purchase their apartments at subsidized, substantially discounted prices goes into effect on August 1.