Arab localities were not included in the raffle for subsidized housing this year, a project by the Ministry of Construction and Housing and the Israel Land Authority aimed at alleviating the housing crisis in the country. Of the 6,000 housing units that will be sold all over the country, not a single one is in an Arab locality.
Despite the major housing crisis in Palestinian Arab society, the three previous lotteries included a limited number of apartments in Arab localities such as Sakhnin, Rahat, Ar’arat an-Naqab, Shaqib al-Salam, Jadeidi-Makr, Nazareth, Arraba, and more. The current lottery will not offer eligible members in Arab society apartments in Arab cities and towns; however, it will include dozens of housing units built in illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.
The Mossawa Center – the Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens of Israel, said in response, “this is a discriminatory lottery. Ignoring the housing crisis in Arab communities deepens the economic crisis and poverty in Arab society. The government’s policy forces tens of thousands of families to build houses without a permit and cause migration out of mixed cities.”
Last year, about 5,000 housing units were sold in the Arab settlements in the Negev – 3000 units in Berhat, 1200 units in Arorer, 800 units in Shaqib al-Salam, 270 unites in Hura, and 400 units in Tel as-Sabi.
As part of the subsidized housing program, over 21,000 households have already won the opportunity to purchase an apartment at a significant discount in the lotteries that took place last year.
The fourth lottery that opened Wednesday, Dec. 28, includes about 6,000 housing units in 13 localities throughout the country: Jerusalem, Ashdod, Haifa, Yehud-Monosson, Ramla, Kadima-Zoran, Ofakim, Sderot, Nahariya, Nof HaGalil, Elkana, Karnei Shomron, Immanuel.
The outgoing Minister of Construction and Housing, Ze’ev Elkin (New Hope), announced, “after a two-year hiatus, we have returned the lotteries of the Ministry of Construction and Housing, and during this year, almost 30,000 families will be able to buy an apartment at a significant discount at the expense of the state. In 2022-23, approximately 75,000 young couples from a total of about 120,000 who participate in the lotteries will get the ability to buy an apartment at a discount.” Still, the Arab community’s share of the supply of housing under the program is far below 10% despite the fact it represents 21% of the total population of Israel.