Draft bill aims to expedite urban renewal

Urban renewal - demolition of apartment building in Holon  credit: Shutterstock

The majority required to force consent to a vacate-and-build project will fall from 80% to two-thirds.

Reducing the residents' consent threshold for vacate-and-build projects and restricting the ability of developers to delay urban renewal projects are the main proposals in a draft bill published by the Ministry of Justice for public comment.

The strategic housing plan for 2017-2040, drawn up by the National Economic Council and adopted by the government, warns that unless the Israel steps up the pace of home construction in the framework of urban renewal, it will be difficult to meet housing demand in the center of the country, The National Economic Council report therefore recommends raising the number of homes constructed in this framework.

An inter-ministerial team headed by the Ministry of Justice, with participation by the Urban Renewal Authority and the Ministry of Finance, has over the past year examined the planning, legal and economic obstacles to urban renewal processes. The team set out several changes to legislation that it believes will remove a substantial proportion of these obstacles.

There are three main elements to the changes:

The first is lowering the majority of residents required in order to sue a resident who unreasonably objects to a vacate-and-build deal from 80% to two thirds.

The second is that owners of homes with infractions of planning laws will not be counted in voting on a vacate-and-build project. In these projects, a resident in an apartment building typically receives a larger apartment from the developer who demolishes the existing building and constructs a new, larger building containing more apartments on the site. Residents who have already illegally enlarged their apartments have no interest in voting for such a project.

The third element is designed to protect residents who may have signed documents that they do not understand, particularly residents who sign consent documents not in their native language. The bill will also not allow developers to delay progress on projects unduly. After a certain time, apartment owners will be able to obtain release from agreements with developers.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on March 29, 2021

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2021

Urban renewal - demolition of apartment building in Holon  credit: Shutterstock
Urban renewal - demolition of apartment building in Holon credit: Shutterstock
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