Jewish Agency Envoy Asks for $64,000,000 to Build Homes for Immigrants in Israel

A total of $64,000,000 which is to be provided by Jews in the United States through the United Palestine Appeal, is required to build 37,000 housing units for immigrants to Israel in the coming year, Jacob Reiser, chief engineer of the Jewish Agency, reported today.

Raiser, who arrived in this country recently, disclosed that the 37,000 units would house 120,000 immigrants who will enter the Jewish state during the next 12 months. He submitted his report to Dr. Israel Goldstein, chairman of the United Palestine Appeal. Stressing that current housing facilities in Israel were desperately short because of the large influx of newcomers, he cited the example of Tel Aviv where under normal conditions an average of three people live in one room.

With the materials on hand in Israel now, Reiser said, 10,000 houses can be built in two months’ time. Israel can provide the necessary cement, stone, and time, but has to import either from the United States or Canada, steel, plumbing supplies, lumber and sanitary fixtures. The construction cost of each unit is approximately $2,400 and four units comprise one house. The houses are built in “row” or attached fashion and are to be completely electrified.

About 60 percent of the 37,000 houses will be erected around Haifa and Tel Aviv while the remaining 40 percent will be dispersed among the settlements throughout Israel. Reiser estimated that the construction will require 10,000 to 15,000 laborers, half of them skilled. Many of the unskilled workers will be drawn from the ranks of recent immigrants. Many of the developments will constitutes themselves as townships with local authority including the power to tax and pass ordinances.

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