Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in cooperation with Construction and Housing Minister Ariel Atias and Interior Minister Eli Yishai, today submitted for Cabinet approval, the emergency plan for accelerating residential construction, the goal of which is to significantly increase the supply of residential construction and halt the rise in housing prices.

In order to hasten construction procedures, legislation will provide for the establishment of national housing commissions, the goal of which will be to bypass the planning committee bureaucracy and hasten the advancement of plans.  This will be for 18 months.  Until the legislation is approved, additional committees will be established alongside the existing district committees that will deal with Government plans only.

Construction projects currently in the approval process will be specially marked as "plans for accelerated construction."  A list of approximately 50,000 residential units will be renewed on an ongoing basis.  When one plan leaves the list, due to its being approved, frozen or cancelled, another plan will be added in its place.  The projects list will be determined by the Government according to criteria that will be set in advance by the Housing and Construction Ministry and the Israel Land Administration.

The rise in housing prices over the last two years is the result of a shortage in supply and in the marketing of land designated for residential construction, as a result of lengthy bureaucratic procedures.  The new plan, along with the reforms in the ILA, are designed to deal with the housing shortage and lead to the construction of thousands of residential units throughout the country.

At the start of today’s Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Netanyahu said that Israel lags far behind in planning and construction.  "Every year a gap of tens of thousands of apartments is created.  Over a decade, this gap has grown to approximately 100,000 apartments.  This gap hurts young people, young couples, discharged soldiers and those who lack the means to finance the surging price of an apartment, because there are not enough apartments; there simply are not enough.  Via the usual process, we can neither shorten nor close this gap.  Here, we are bypassing the bureaucracy so as to allow us, for 18 months, or less, to plan for and prepare an inventory of at least 50,000 apartments, and maybe much more, in order to alleviate the housing situation in the State of Israel," the Prime Minister said.