Fischer Defends PM's Housing Plan

Bank of Israel Governor, Stanley Fischer, says Netanyahu's proposal for addressing housing crisis will increase housing supply; says Netanyahu's steps are proportionate and focused on increasing supply.

Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer yesterday threw his support behind Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's latest plans to solve the housing crisis.

"After examining the list of steps the prime minister announced, the bank governor said the central bank believes that the long-term solution to the housing price problem has to come primarily from increasing the housing supply," the bank said in a statement.

Stanley Fischer - Tomer Appelbaum - July 27 2011
Tomer Appelbaum

If the steps go through, they will help increase the housing supply, Fischer said.

The bank governor said Netanyahu's steps are proportionate and focused on increasing supply. He noted that building starts had increased 11% over the past year, and that building finishes were beginning to increase accordingly. Over time, this will increase the housing supply and moderate prices and rent, he said.

It's important that the steps Netanyahu announced actually go through, said Fischer. Likewise, the government needs to go through with its proposed reform to the national housing committee and the Israel Lands Administration, which also will shorten the construction process.

This marked Fischer's first statement in the past few weeks regarding the housing crisis, the tent protest and the government's attempt to address these issues. Fischer has come under fire for not being more involved in social crises in his role as an economic adviser to the government.