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Israel’s Housing Crisis, A Decade After Its ‘Tent Revolution’

Ten years after protesting Israel’s living expenses, affordable housing is still in short supply, and some urban dwellers are looking for a cheaper life in rural kibbutz.

During the 2011 Tent Revolution, young Israelis were furious at the sharp rise in rents for building shelters on the upscale Rothschild Boulevard in the heart of Tel Aviv.

Thousands of protesters soon went out to the streets all over Israel, shouting the slogan for social justice.

Such widespread social turmoil has occurred in Israel since the early 1970s when thousands of people, led by a group called the Black Panther Party, campaigned against racial discrimination suffered by Middle Eastern Mizrahi Jews. I couldn’t see it.





Young couples share a picnic in front of the Tel Aviv skyline-one of the highest rent cities in the world
AFP / Emmanuel Dunant

But many of the demands of the tent revolution remain a dream.

“Prices have continued to rise since then,” said Stav Shafir, a representative of the 2011 protests.

“Social housing, which was important in the 1960s and 1970s, was reduced so that almost everyone was tied to the private market,” Shafil told AFP.

In Israel, the private housing market is largely unregulated.

Shafil, who was later elected to Parliament, introduced a “fair leasing law” passed in 2017 to strengthen tenant rights.



An old wooden house stands in front of a modern building in the coastal city of Israel


An old wooden house stands in front of a modern building in the coastal city of Israel
AFP / Emmanuel Dunant

A 35-year-old activist heading the Israeli Greens now says that real estate is “in good condition and repairs must be done at the expense of the owner … to evict tenants as quickly as before. I can’t. “

However, the law has only a limited impact on unlimited rents in Israel, said Danny Ben-Shahar, director of the Alof Real Estate Institute at Tel Aviv University.



After the coronavirus blockade restrictions, some city dwellers leave for rural homes


After the coronavirus blockade restrictions, some city dwellers leave for rural homes
AFP / Emmanuel Dunant

In countries with high fertility and immigration rates, low borrowing rates, coupled with population growth, mean that apartment demand exceeds supply.

As a result, house prices will rise “significantly”, damaging rents, Ben Shahar said.

“Housing remains a major concern,” he added.

This problem is especially serious in Tel Aviv.

The Mediterranean city is ranked as the fifth most expensive city in the world after New York and Geneva in The Economist’s latest Living Expense Report.



For those who can afford Tel Aviv, the seaside town with cafes, entertainment and bars is a fascinating place to live.


For those who can afford Tel Aviv, the seaside town with cafes, entertainment and bars is a fascinating place to live.
AFP / Emmanuel Dunant

“Buying a four-room apartment costs an average of 3 million shekels ($ 920,000) in Tel Aviv and 1.7 million shekels ($ 520,000) elsewhere,” he said.

Such costs will reduce everything except the wealthy.

The average price of a Tel Aviv studio is 3,300 shekels (about $ 1,000), twice that of Haifa’s northern port, said Tarkopel, vice president of Madran, a major real estate site.

In addition, property taxes can add hundreds of shekels a month.

An AFP journalist who recently visited several two-room apartments in central Tel Aviv found a rent of approximately 6,000 shekels ($ 1,840), including taxes.

However, the dramatic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic prompted a downward revision of rent.

Prices fell 15% in May last year after a few years of rise, but have risen again since then, according to the Bank of Israel.

For those who can afford Tel Aviv, the seaside town with cafes, entertainment and bars is a fascinating place to live.

“Tel Aviv is a very liberal city,” Koper said. “It attracts many people who don’t feel they can be in a more conservative surrounding city.”

However, the pandemic has shaken the real estate market.

Demand for small apartments for singles and couples remains strong, but some families are moving.

The pandemic “highlighted some flaws in the city, such as the lack of quality open space,” Koper said.

Yehara Tiram is one of many who wanted to change during the blockade of Israel.

In September, she left the hip boulevard and settled in a small kibbutz in northern Israel with her boyfriend, seeking a simpler, more environmentally friendly and cheaper life.

“Before I met my boyfriend, I lived in a very small studio in Tel Aviv and paid as much as I would pay home today,” says a 36-year-old social worker.

“Here I have a three-room apartment of 85 square meters with garden and sea views.”



Israel’s Housing Crisis, A Decade After Its ‘Tent Revolution’ Source link Israel’s Housing Crisis, A Decade After Its ‘Tent Revolution’

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