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Dec 27, 2012

Was Arial Attias a good Housing Minister?

I don't know, objectively speaking, if Ariel Attias did a good job as Housing Minister.

I like Attias because I saw him working and getting projects off the ground, in a ministry that has been stagnant for a long enough time. Objectively, I have no idea if the work he did, the decisions made, the reforms introduced, were good or not for the country and the housing market.

I know he got a lot of housing projects around the country off the ground. I know that a majority of those have been for his own sector, for haredi housing. However, the haredi market had probably the most serious shortage of [affordable] housing of any sector, so at least Attias made a big dent in that problem, even if the accusation of him working only for his own sector is true.

Interestingly, and unfortunately it comes with no explanation, Globes is reporting on a survey taken of kablanim regarding whom they would prefer to be Minister of Housing in the next government. The results are a bit surprising because Ariel Attias came out with a very poor showing, garnering only 15% of the kablanim behind him as next Housing Minister.

Unfortunately, there was no explanation as to why he had so little support among kablanim. I mean, if Attias really did increase the amount of housing projects and thereby gave a lot of business to a lot of kablanim, I would have thought the kablanim would love Arial Attias as Housing Minister. but they don't.

Just as surprising as the lack of support for Ariel Attias is the overwhelming support for Silvan Shalom as next Minister of Housing, with 54% of kablanim pointing to him as the preferred minister. The level of support for Shalom is surprising, not because Shalom is not a good guy or a good minister, but because he has never filled this specific position in the past and how do th ekablanim know what he would do in this ministerial position?!

Some, Shas supporters, are pointing to Ariel Attias and saying he did a good job in the Ministry of Communications, and then the Likud sent in Moshe Kachlon after him and he reaped the benefits, and extended them, of the reforms begun by Attias. And, they say regarding the current spat over who will control the Housing Ministry in the next government, the same will happen in this ministry - Attias has done a good job of implementing reforms and increasing the amount of new projects, while the Likud will then come in and reap the benefits in the next government.

Likud people, on the other hand, are saying that Attias worked very sectoraly, building only for his own sector, not even doing a very good job of it, and like in the Communications Ministry they will now have to send in a Likud minister to take it over and clean up Attias's mess.

I don't know which perspective is objectively correct.

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  1. I can see two angles to this:
    - Despite what the media like to promote, a Shas minister might be harder to bribe than A Likud minister, if not with money, then with other things in return
    - the Interior Ministry really hasn't increased building permits by much and I think housing starts are down from last year.

    Except for Harish, why do you say that Attias has been good for Haredim. Elad is still virtually stuck and the Interior Minister could have annexed surrounding land to the city. Beitar and Modiin Illit had freezes and not sure if much building permits have been handed out. Perhaps Haredi neighbourhoods in other cities?


  2. in Bet Shemesh he has pushed throu so far I think the number is about 8000 buiuilding permits, with the first 2200 in various stages of construction, and permits for future thousands are in various stages of preparation. Achisamach near Lod is another haredi project that has been started in his tenure.
    there is charish though there seems to be a problem with the michraz.
    there is a project (for haredim) with hundreds of units in Tiberias that has been approved. I dont know what stage the permits or construction are in
    there are more, and i can look up the names. these are from my memory


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