Poverty Families Erect New ‘tent City’ South of Tel Aviv

A new “tent city” populated by young married couples priced out of the housing market was set up today on State owned land near Rishon LeZion, south of Tel Aviv. It appeared only four days after several score poverty families voluntarily dismantled a similar tent city on public land outside Jerusalem.

Both acts were protests against the government’s failure to relieve the housing shortage which has imposed severe hardships on slum dwellers and newlywed couples without the means to buy flats. The new tent city consists of blankets and plastic sheets. A spokesman for the 40 add families said “We are here to stay. It’s government land. We want flats for ourselves. We will not continue to live in one or two small rooms together with our parents and their children.”

Yehoshua Gertzberg, chairman of the Rishon LeZion town council, said the situation of some couples is acute. He noted that not a single flat for young couples has been constructed during the last six years in this locality, known as Nahlat Yehuda.

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