The Israel Defense Forces is increasing the rent subsidy it pays to eligible soldiers by 260 shekels ($70) a month, from 1,046 shekels to 1,300 shekels. This is the first increase in the subsidy in 22 years.
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The IDF expects this increase to help thousands of soldiers, including those who are alone in Israel, who are receiving financial assistance from the army. Most of the eligible soldiers share their apartments with roommates.
The increase in housing support will begin in March, to be paid in salaries distributed at the beginning of April, and it will apply retroactively from the beginning of 2017.
Soldiers eligible for such assistance include “lone” soldiers, those without family in Israel or who have no contact with their families here. Lone soldiers also sometimes receive an additional few hundred shekels per month from the Ministry of Construction and Housing.
Lone soldiers are also eligible to live in cheap, or even free, apartments offered by the soldiers' welfare association or on kibbutzim. The IDF pays the costs for such housing directly to the organizations.