Levy: Determined to Speed Up Accommoda Tions for Olim, Israelis

David Levy, Israel’s Absorption and Housing Minister, gave notice here that he is determined to introduce more efficient foreign building methods into Israel in order to speed up new accommodations for immigrants and Israeli citizens. Levy said that one of the foreign property developers who was interested in introducing new building the thuds into Israel was Leon Tamman, Treasurer of the World Sephardi Federation.

Addressing a reception at the Herut Party’s London headquarters last week, Levy said the new methods would boost the already improving rote of building homes for olim, young families and those with many children.

In the public sector alone this year, construction had begun of 20,000 units, compared with 7,500 in 1978 and 5,000 in 1977. In the private sector, construction had begun on an additional 25,000 dwellings, he said.

However, while the average Israeli home takes between 2-21/2 years to complete, Levy hoped to bring in foreign building firms that could do the work in 10 months to one year. This had already created some antagonism in Israel “where you can be friendly with everyone as long as you do not wish to do something new,” he stated, However, he said he was determined to “go forward without compromise.”

On the question of absorption, Levy expressed pride in the fact that he himself had come to Israel as a young boy from Morocco, had grown up in the development city of Beit Shean, and was now a Minister.

In the past two years, he noted, 40 percent of newcomers had been absorbed in development towns where immigrants of the 1950s were now absorbing the immigrants of the 1970s. More and more immigrants are expressing a preference to settle in towns like Ma’alot in Galilee, rather then in Tel Aviv or the coastal plain, Levy claimed.

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