New Negev city approved for Ultra-Orthodox

ultra-orthodox men

The city of Kasif at the Tel Arad Junction is planned for 100,000 residents.

After the failure to build Harish as a haredi (Ultra-Orthodox) city, a subcommittee of the national committee on principle planning matters yesterday decided to recommend to the national committee the construction of Kasif, a new haredi city in the Negev, planned for 100,000 residents.

This follows a 2007 decision to establish the Kasif municipal community at the Tel Arad Junction. This decision was designed as a solution to the housing shortage in the haredi sector, and to encourage settlement in the Negev. The government authorized the Ministry of Construction and Housing, in cooperation with the Ministry of the Interior, to obtain approval for the plan from the planning bodies. Three years later, the National Planning and Building Commission approved the plan in principle.

The new city is planned to include 16,000 housing units for a population of 80,000-100,000 with the high proportion of large young households typical of the haredi sector. The city is planned to cover 6,400 dunam (1,600 acres), with high-density construction of 4-5-story buildings and 15-20% private housing units. The plan also includes commercial and business space suitable for the haredi sector, including educational and religious institutions.

A number of objections to the plan from a social-environmental perspective were filed and heard yesterday by the committee on principle planning matters. At the end of the discussion, the committee decided to reject the objections filed, and to recommend approval of plan to the national committee, which will soon hold hearings for its final approval.

Detailed planning of the city is slated for completion in 2016, and the Ministry of the Interior expects marketing of the lots to begin in 2017.

Concerning the plan, Minister of Construction and Housing Uri Ariel said, "The Ministry of Housing and Construction, together with the Ministry of the Interior, will lead the construction of a new city in the Negev, which will encourage people to move to the Negev and provide an additional housing solution for the haredi sector in the coming years. We'll continue devising solutions to increase the supply and lower housing prices for all people and sectors."

Previous Minister of Housing Ariel Atias announced the building of the city of Harish, designed for the haredi population, and lots were offered to developers at a nominal price in order to facilitate marketing of cheap apartments. Due to protests from the secular population, secular building groups submitted bids in the tender, and Atias's vision of a haredi city was not realized.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 14, 2015

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2015

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