Cabinet Approves New Company to Develop Housing for Rent

Turf dispute between Lapid, Ariel resolved.

The cabinet on Sunday approved the establishment of a government corporation for promoting long-term rental housing.

The company will mainly be responsible for choosing land to be used for long-term rental projects, preparing the land, settling property rights, managing marketing tenders, and development planning, management and supervision. The company will be allotted an NIS 8 million annual budget plus NIS 20 million to be allocated in each of its first two years of operations. Its board of directors will be composed of civil servants from the finance, housing and interior ministries as well as from the Israel Lands Authority, along with public representatives knowledgeable in engineering and city planning.

The outline for the company was agreed on several weeks ago, but a dispute between Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel over land reserves to be used by the new company stymied any further progress. Last Thursday the two managed to resolve their conflict, paving the way for cabinet approval. They apparently agreed to limit the new company's activities to open lands adjacent to cities that have not yet been zoned. Ariel had objected that the company, which will be subordinate to the Finance Ministry, will operate in areas where the ILA had planned to function in coming years, and thereby undermining his author

The treasury said creating a commercial rental market would provide a comprehensive solution to Israel's housing problem by reducing the pressure to purchase a home.

Michal Fattal