Jan 28, 2013

Will Harish be non-Haredi, and if not, why not?

By now you all must know that the main bids by Haredi purchase groups for plots in Harish were disqualified, due to a form of price-fixing. The disqualification of the Haredi purchase groups means the government is going to be taking in 113 million NIS less than they would have had the Haredi groups won the tenders.

Yaki Resiner, VP of Z. Landau Contractors and Engineers, told Globes that "The government gave up NIS 113 million so that Harish won't be haredi. Contractors can now sell apartments for less, even with a 15% profit. The question is whether haredim will forget about the prices promised them all these years, and will buy apartments from the contractors. With the grants offered to Harish homebuyers, the final price won't be far from the prices offered by the charities."

I would tend to disagree with the first part of that statement. The government, as far as I can make out, did not give up all that money so that Harish would not become Haredi. That is a seemingly absurd statement. harish was designed by the government to be a haredi town. The fact that some non-Haredi groups wanted to take advantage of cheap prices and buy sections of Harish does not change the fact that the original intention was for Harish to be Haredi.

Globes continues and says:
"Since the disqualification of the haredi charities, secular buyers groups have been in talks with the winning contractors. An example is the buyers group Our Harish, organized by Assaf Hovra and Israel Avital. Hovra told "Globes", "We're in talks with the winning contractors, and we'll close a deal with the contractor who offers us the best price. The contractors will sell to us, the general public, and not to the haredim for the simple reason that we have stronger purchasing power."
Hovra added, "We've have dozens of calls from people who were sitting on the fence, and realized after the results of the tenders that it is worthwhile buying in Harish because it won't be a haredi town, but a town for the general public"
I am sorry, but "dozens of phone calls from people" sitting on the fence is not going to sell 5000 apartments in Harish. It might sell a few dozen, or even a couple hundred, but it is not going to sell 5000.

The various non-Haredi leaders and groups need to stop complaining about the Haredim buying houses. When they buy houses in new neighborhoods of existing cities, people complain. When they buy homes in old neighborhoods of existing cities, people complain. And now, when they buy homes in new cities being built for Haredim people complain.

The non-Haredim have every right to mobilize and buy hundreds, or thousands, of houses in Harish, or in Ahisamach, or in Ashqelon, or in Bet Shemesh or anywhere else apartments are being built. Instead of continuously complaining about haredim buying houses at cheap prices, the non-Haredim should study how the haredim have been able to successfully keep prices low and mobilize thousands of buyers, and then they should do the same.

I can see it now. When Harish will be populated with 45oo Haredi families and 500 non-Haredi, all the same groups will complain that the haredim took over. Because the non-Haredim only had "dozens of phone calls".

You want a large number of cheap housing units where your people can live? Mobilize young couples and get them to be interested in Harish, or in one of any other building project around the country.

Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel

1 comment:

  1. Actually, Harish was not designed to be a Haredi city and it was a ghost town of streets without homes. The original plans were revived with much fanfare for the Haredim because no one else except the dati-leumi were trickling in, not even the non-religious.

    The fact that the Haredi combina didn't work out does not mean that it can't/won't be a Haredi town, just that the Haredi askanim won't be running the show and this is probably a good thing since the advertisements leading up to the tender seemed somewhat misleading, and I'm sure the man on the street with little experience in building would be taken in by the deep discounts being promised by these groups that came out of nowhere. The big tender went to Bemuna which is a dati-leumi company with much experience in building and organizing new neighbourhoods. They already have a project in planning before this new mega-tender was publicized.

    But given all that, there is no reason that Harish will not be the next Elad, a planned half-Haredi, half-dati-leumi in which the Haredim became the majority anyway. The Haredim look for the long-term and the dati-leumi (like in Beit Shemesh) simply did not want the battle (who does?)


Related Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...