A new neighborhood is being planned for Ra'anana that would include hundreds of long-term rental apartments, including many that would be rent-controlled.

"The decision to go forward with the current plan is designed to increase the supply of rental housing for young couples and to encourage the construction of new apartments in the city," Ra'anana Mayor Nahum Hofree said.

The neighborhood, to be named Neot Uzi after the city's late deputy mayor, Uzi Cohen, will include about 300 long-term rental units. The Ra'anana Municipality and Israel Lands Administration's plans call for the units to be rentals for about 20 years, after which they would be sold.

About a quarter of them would be rented at price-controlled rates to tenants who meet the Housing Ministry's criteria. The remaining units would be priced at market rates. In addition to the rental units, another 170 larger apartments are planned for sale on the open market.

The Ra'anana Municipality said the maximum rent on a rent-controlled three-and-a-half-room apartment would be about NIS 4,000 per month. Currently the prevailing rent for comparable apartments is NIS 4,500 to NIS 5,000.

In a few months the Housing Ministry is expected to begin marketing land in the neighborhood, which is on the west side of the Sharon-area city, with the projected scheduled for completion in two-and-a-half to three years.

The ministry said similar projects are planned in a number of other cities, including Kfar Sava, Be'er Sheva, Rishon Letzion and Modi'in, and it was not certain the Ra'anana project would be the first built.