Israel Publishes Subsidized-housing Tender for Kiryat Arba

Follows murder of 13-year-old girl in settlement adjacent to Hebron.

The West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba, June 30, 2016.
Mussa Qawasma, Reuters

The state published its first-ever tender for subsidized housing under a new program in the West Bank this week.

The tender is for the sale of land to build 42 reduced-price apartments in the Givat Harsina neighborhood of Kiryat Arba, near Hebron.

This comes immediately after two terror attacks in the area, including the murder of a 13-year-old girl asleep in bed in that neighborhood.

Bidders have until September 12 to respond to the tender, published by the Housing Ministry and the Finance Ministry.

Under the Mehir Lemishtaken program, bidders on land must commit to offer homes for sale at a significant discount from current prices in the area. A contractor wins the tender by offering the lowest price per square meter for finished apartments.

Homes have been marketed for sale under that program in cities around Israel, and have received an enormous amount of public interest. Buyers of Mehir Lemishtaken homes in areas outside central Israel receive a 40,000-shekel grant as well.

The last time land was sold for construction in Kiryat Arba was a year ago. At the time, three tracts of land were sold for the construction of 102 apartments in the neighborhood. They sold at a minuscule land cost of 3,800 shekels ($10,300) per apartment.

Given the low price of land in Kiryat Arba, bidders will have limited ability to offer homes at significant discounts. Homes sold as part of the latest project will likely include a discount of no more than a few tens of thousands of shekels.

The state also announced yesterday that it was closing a tender for Mehir Lemishtaken housing projects in the southern towns of Kiryat Gat and Sderot. The Kiryat Gat tender was only partly successful: only two tracts of land sold, out of four offered for sale.