H for House
Say no to unfair housing subsidies!
Hiddush Petition against suggested guidelines for affordable housing that blatantly favor ultra-Orthodox applicants
Minister of housing and Construction Ariel Atias at the Knesset General Assembly
Housing and Construction minister, Shas MK Ariel Atias, suggested new guidelines for affordable housing this week, blatantly favoring ultra-Orthodox applicants for government aid.
80% of the score given to applicants will be based on the longevity of the couples’ marriage. In addition, more than half of the housing will be reserved for families with three or more children. As the national non-ultra-Orthodox average rate is 2.5 children per women, and the average ultra-Orthodox rate is 6.5, this unambiguously gives preference to the ultra-Orthodox couples.
The criteria do not comply with an agreement made to give priority to those who are employed, another nod to the ultra-Orthodox population who are heavily unemployed and do not even seek to join the workforce. Yisrael Beiteinu, amongst others, says these criteria do not at all benefit the middle class as they were intended.
Opposition leader and Kadima chairwoman MK Tzipi Livni told the Knesset on Wednesday that Atias' program was "a spit in the face of the social protest" and that the criteria contained "no good news for young couples who serve [in the army] and work. As usual they are paying the price of the Netanyahu government. The housing minister is once again relying on Netanyahu's weakness ..."
Uri Regev: Social justice must be heard above all, the council must reject the attempt to blur the distinction between those who need public help because they cannot work, and those who chose not to work but rather to live off of taxpayers and the public coffers.
Hiddush President, Rabbi Uri Regev spoke to Ha'aretz saying “"The criteria the housing minister is trying to dictate shows that he was and is first and foremost the minister of ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students, not the minister of housing of the State of Israel. It is to be hoped that the voice of reason and social justice will be heard above all, and that the council will reject the attempt to blur the distinction between those who need public help because they cannot work, and those who chose not to work but rather to live off the work of taxpayers and the public coffers."
Hiddush’s petition can be found here, translation below:
Affordable Housing Petition
Sign on! Stop the robbery of housing benefits! We will not pay for those who evade the workforce!
We, the citizens of Israel, from across the political spectrum, call on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to reject the criteria for affordable housing assistance as proposed by the Shas Minister of Housing, Ariel Atias.
His criteria blatantly discriminate in favor of ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students who elude both the army and participating in the workforce.
Priority for housing assistance should be given to those citizens who work and share the civic burden of paying taxes, as well as those to who are not physically able to work.
We are not prepared for our taxes to be used to subsidize housing for those who do not even attempt to work or earn a living.
We call on the Prime Minister to make affordable housing conditional on realizing earning potential and to make a clear distinction between those who cannot work and have the right to subsidized housing benefits versus those who are unwilling to work and do not deserve assistance. We call on the Prime Minister to encourage those yeshiva students who do join the workforce, and to not offer incentives to those who refuse.
We call for affordable housing criteria to advance the key principles of social justice, and renounce the severe social injustice of rewarding non-participation in the workforce.
Prime Minister – if the Shas Housing Minister is unable to care for the general public, he should be removed from office!
Partnering organizations: Hiddush – For Freedom of Religion and Equality, Be Free Israel, Israel Religious Action Center, HaForum Ha'Hiloni (The Secular Forum), Ha'Forum L'Shivyon B'Netel (The Forum for Equal Sharing in the Civic Burden), Ne'emnei Torah v'Avodah