Incoming Minister of Construction and Housing Yaakov Litzman has introduced a new plan based on housing in central Israel subsidizing housing in the outlying or peripheral regions. At the same time he has scrapped the Buyers Fixed Price program, which has been providing affordable housing in recent years for young couples and first time buyers, although tenders already issued will be completed not cancelled.
Under Litzman's plan tenders for land for affordable housing will be subsidized by tenders for premium priced land. In addition first time buyers purchasing homes in the periphery will be entitled to loans and reduced bureaucracy at the Israel Land Authority as well lower purchase tax. Periphery, as defined by Litzman's plan, would seem to mean outside of the Greater Tel Aviv area.
In an unusual step the plan was revealed in a letter from Litzman to Minister of Finance Israel Katz rather than in an official document. Litzman stressed that his policies are in line with the main government target of making it easier for young couples to buy homes at reduced prices.
The plan is in essence a return to something similar implemented by Ariel Sharon as Housing Minister in the early 1990s when he built large numbers of heavily subsidized apartments in outlying regions, to house the massive influx of Russian speaking new immigrants.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on June 30, 2020
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