Directives Regarding Rental Assistance Hurt
by Betzalel Kahn
Last Wednesday (18 Cheshvan), UTJ's representatives met with
the Finance Minister, Avraham (Beige) Shochat and requested
that he cancel a new law that came into effect that day.
Starting on Wednesday, the government will not allocate
funds for special grants that young married couples receive
for their rental payments.
The Housing Ministry immediately began to implement
directives regarding the government's participation in
rents. The majority of those hurt by this new order are
avreichim and chareidi families.
Until now, families who did not own apartments and had
accumulated 1400 points were eligible for assistance with
their rental payments for three years, without any
connection to their income. Beginning November 15, the
criteria needed to receive such grants have changed. Only
those who have accumulated at least 1530 points, have an
income lower than the determined one, and have exhausted
their earning ability will be eligible to receive government
funding. These terms do not apply to new immigrants; their
incomes are not even examined.
At the meeting with the Finance Minister, UTJ's
representatives claimed that the government had promised to
continue granting assistance to the families of avreichim
until the end of the current fiscal year, 2000. In reality,
the new decision went into effect a month and a half prior
to the end of the year. As a result, the members of the UTJ
party demand that the assistance be granted at least until
the end of the year.
Prior to this meeting, MK Rabbi Gafni met privately with the
Finance Minister. At the end of the meeting, Shochat said
that Rabbi Gafni's claims were justified, and that he would
see what he can do in order not to hurt the chareidi