JERUSALEM (Aug. 18)
American-style factory-built homes are not the answer to Israel’s housing problem, according to Housing Minister Zeev Sharef. Such mobile homes would pose a number of problems, he told newsmen following his return from an inspection of housing innovations in the United States. The problems, according to Sharef, are that wood, which is important in American-made homes, would have to be imported by Israel; the country does not have the space for such homes; Israel’s roads are not sufficient for trucks hauling mobile homes by trailer; and the idea of mobile homes is based on the principle of a car for every housewife, and two-car families are the exception in Israel.
But Sharef agreed that Israel has something to learn from the U.S. in the field of housing. “We need to learn thorough planning, construction, scheduling and performance control from America, three fields in which we are very weak,” he said. “None of the architectural or engineering faculties here teach scheduling or execution,” he added. One of the American innovations Israel could adopt, he said, is the modular system–entire kitchen and bathroom units that are brought ready-made to the building site. “My hosts in America did everything to make my visit as profitable as possible.” Sharef noted, “and they showed great eagerness to help Israel.”