JERUSALEM (Jun. 1)
The Housing Ministry announced today that it will invest nearly $500 million over the next five years to provide adequate housing for families living in overcrowded or otherwise unsatisfactory quarters. The Ministry also disclosed that 13,000 apartments intended for new immigrants during the next five years will be turned over instead to large families of limited means. The moves were seen as a direct response to the growing clamor by slum dwellers for improved living conditions, a problem dramatized in recent months by the activities of the self-styled Black Panthers, youths of North African and Asian origin living in the Jerusalem slums. According to the Ministry’s plan, the large new flats will go to large families while immigrant families with only two or three members will be housed in the flats vacated by the larger families. The Ministry plans to renovate the old apartments before occupancy by the new immigrants. The Ministry will invest $437.5 million in the project beginning next April. About 25, 000 families are expected to receive apartments of 80-90 square meters at a monthly rent of $23. Another 8,000 families will be helped to add one or two rooms to their existing flats and 5,000 families will receive 40-year loans of $7,000-$8,750 at eight percent interest to acquire new housing. In addition, 5,000 families will have their present flats extensively refurbished.