JERUSALEM (Jul. 30)
Unmarried immigrants are not getting a fair deal in housing, and as a result the number of singles applying for aliya is dwindling, a meeting of more than 200 singles was told in Jerusalem last night. “Years after having arrived here,” said Sybil Kaufman, “most of us are still living in hostels and absorption centers, or staying with relatives. There are no government sponsored housing with small flats for single people.”
On the private market in Jerusalem, Ms. Kaufman said, “a one-bedroom flat costs between IL 90,000-IL 100,000. There are only limited possibilities of finding a small flat on a key money basis, and even that is very risky in view of the possible change in rent that can come at any time. We, too, are here to help in the upbuilding of Israel, so why shouldn’t the government help us settle?”
Replying for the government, Yitzhak Wolfson, Deputy Director of the Absorption Ministry’s Jerusalem office, told the meeting that the housing shortage was general, and also affected family units. If there was inept planning, he noted it was the Housing Ministry’s fault, since the Absorption Ministry cannot allocate more than it receives from the Housing Ministry. Wolfson advised the unmarried immigrants to move to development towns such as Arad, Dimona and Carmiel, where there is ample housing available for single immigrants.
Eliezer Kroll, a senior official of the Jewish Agency’s immigration department, conceded that the singles’ demands were well founded and justified. He praised the unmarried olim as “the most absorbable type of immigrants we get,” and suggested that the only way for them to seek relief was to become more vocal and begin to exert pressure at the highest levels of government.