A radio interview in Galei Tzahal show hosted by Rino Tzror following the launch of the IAHC Affordable Housing Index
The Israel Affordable Housing Center (IAHC at Tel Aviv University's Faculty of Law has launched the IAHC Affordable Housing Index – the first of its kind in Israel, offering a new and reliable way to examine whether the actions of the government and local authorities are in fact producing affordable housing.
"Ever since the social justice protest of 2011, everyone has been talking about affordable housing," says Sebastian Wallerstein, Director of the Israel Affordable Housing Center. "But this has become an empty concept, because it has no clear definition or criteria. It's not surprising that the public feels confused. The law itself does not properly define affordable housing - so government programs are initiated without well-defined goals. A look at what goes on in the world in this area reveals that things can be done quite differently. In Israel apartments rented at market prices are considered affordable housing, small apartments are considered affordable housing, and so is any discount from market prices – even if the price remains high compared to the average income. So the question inevitably arises: affordable for whom?"
The Israel Affordable Housing Center at Tel Aviv University launches a first-of-its-kind Affordable Housing Index
The 'Price for the Dweller' program (Mechir Lamishtaken) does not create affordable housing in high-demand areas and in most of Israel's big cities
Of Israel's 14 large cities, Ashkelon, Haifa & Beersheba are the only ones where the program offers prices affordable for middle-income households
40% of the apartments marketed today through the government's 'Price for the Dweller' (Mechir Lamishtaken) program are offered at prices unaffordable for middle to low income households
"When the level of income is not taken into account, there is no way of ensuring that the apartments will ultimately be owned by the program's target population, rather than high-income populations."
According to current regulations urban renewal projects will not create new affordable housing units. Data gathered by the IAHC shows that existing apartment buildings included in urban renewal projects house a significant share of renters, but current policies don't provide any solution for those renters facing direct displacement due to Raze and Rebuild projects.
This is not affordable housing.
There goes the neighborhood? The ugly side of gentrification in Israel
The most effective way to prevent residents from being pushed out is to create housing solutions for them, according to Sebastian Wallerstein, one of the planners who helped draft the Jaffa petition. “Ultimately, it’s a question of housing prices and the ability of the local population to continue to live in the neighborhood,” he says.
The disappeared- gentrification and displacement in old neighborhoods in Israeli cities
The Ministry of Finance plan promised Affordable Housing but is not delivering any real outcomes
An article focusing on the challenges ahead to create a robust long term rental affordable housing in Israel referring to our published research on that matter.
An article presenting the Social Congress initiative. The AHC is one of the leading participants in the Congress aimed to connect between academic research and grassroot organizations advocating for affordable housing.
Article following the Affordable Housing Center’s conference on housing as a national priority. Head of the Affordable HousingCenter: “The government is advancing this issue, but there is no general government policy that clearly defines goals and, in particular, there is a lack of linkage between the cost of housing and the income of the target population and there is no clear definition of the target population for affordable housing – people with middle to lower incomes."
Article following the Affordable Housing Center’s conference on housing as a national priority, at which mentioned Uzi Levy, CEO of Apartment for Rent – The Government Company for Rental Housing, stated that the rental market in Israel is unorganized and that, unlike the situation in other countries, there is no corporate rental market in this country.
The Target Price Program will mainly help the rich, at a time when there is an immediate need to define affordable housing in terms of household income, in order to provide a direct answer for the lower-to-middle income target population. Without income-testing, the Target Price program will mainly benefit high-income households.
What factors influence institutional players in the housing market? The hesitation of institutions to enter a new field of business can be understood in light of the inherent uncertainty and risks, as well as the lack of financing and the lack of organized structures for the management of long-term rental housing and the lack of an efficient legal mechanism for the eviction of tenants who do not abide by the terms of their leases.