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Analysis News

Ramat Gan public housing residents thrown to the street

Needy families in municipal housing are being left with no options. Most of the families being kicked out of their homes are current or former municipal employees.

(Click the text box on the bottom right of the video to activate subtitles.)

The Gefen neighborhood, also known as Geulim Housing Project, is a number of two-story buildings built by the municipality of Ramat Gan during the 1940s to house needy families. For decades the project was used as a home for families entitled to municipal housing solutions, mainly: single mothers, pensioners and disabled individuals who can not afford high rates of rent in the free market.

On the eve of the Jewish new year last month the Ramat Gan Municipality handed eviction orders to all families in the complex, with no compensation or alternatives suggested. Following an inquiry, it turned out that the Gefen family, now a real estate corporation, acquired the lands through a lease contract signed with the municipality some 60 years ago, which it obliged to maintain the interests of the public housing residents in all circumstances.

Now, after building many luxury projects on the once-public lands of Ramat Gan, the Gefens are planning to turn Geulim Housing Project into a park, for the benefit of their nearby 30-story luxury building residents. It seems that in a new contract signed by the real estate corporation and the Ramat Gan Municipality, both waved their responsibilities for the needing families.

The residents, most of them former municipal workers, are pointing a finger at the Ramat Gan Municipality for abandoning them. At this point there is no solution offered to the dozens of needy families.

Sima, living in the apartment for 34 years, after her parents passed away. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Naama, living in the apartment for 35 years, since the day she was born. In her childhood she lived there with her grandmother. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Meir, living in the apartment for 20 years. His apartment was damaged after nearby apartments were destroyed by the Gefen constructors to prevent from squatters and other families to move in. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

P, living in the apartment for 18 years with her four children. The twenty seven meter apartment was split to two tiny bedrooms and a living room. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

A multi storey luxury building built by the Gefen real estate cooperation, close to the municipality housing project. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Debora and Miryam, daughter and mother, both served in the municipality of Ramat Gan, which gave them the apartment 25 years ago. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Haia, 60, 100% crippled and living in the project in the last 22 years with her 24 years old daughter. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Hanna, 70, living in the apartment for 25 years. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Madlen, living in the apartment for 22 years, after her husband went bankrupt and left her homelss. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

A protest in front of Ramat Gan municipality against the planned eviction of Geulim Housing Project, October 14, 2013. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

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  • COMMENTS

    1. David

      It’s called capitalism, a system based on greed and fundamental inhumanity.

      Reply to Comment
      • Kolumn9

        It’s called capitalism, a system based on greed and fundamental humanity.

        Like most non-capitalist frameworks this too eventually got corrupted with former and current municipal workers taking over cheap apartments by using their connections and influence. This is pretty much always how it works with such systems. Best intentions, worst results.

        Reply to Comment
    2. sh

      It’s called cannibalism. Eating those of your own flesh.

      Reply to Comment
    3. BaladiAkka48

      To paraphrase Martin Niemöller:
      “First they kicked out the native Palestinians, then they started kicking out the Jews ….”
      You may call it capitalism or cannibalism, to the Palestinians, it is just Zionism.

      Reply to Comment

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