U.S., Israel sign housing accord


NEW YORK, June 28 (JTA) — Israel and the United States have signed an agreement to work together to solve housing problems.

The agreement was signed last week during Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo’s first trip to Israel.

The Binational Commission on Housing and Community Development “will strengthen ties between the United States and Israel and further the efforts of each country to meet the housing needs of our people,” Cuomo said. “This is good news for both Israelis and Americans.”

The United States can help Israel on home rentals, particularly American programs of rental subsidies and low-income tax credits, Cuomo said.

At the same time, he added, the United State’s rate of home ownership is lower than Israel’s.

“I personally want to learn from them what are they doing that gets their rate higher than ours,” he said.

During his visit, Cuomo met with Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat.

He said he spoke to Arafat about helping the Palestinians on economic development, but that the plans with the Palestinians were “less specific” than those involving Israel.

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