Israel Doubles its Rent Assistance for New Immigrants
Starting January 2016, Israel is doubling its rent assistance to new immigrants (olim), the first increase in 15 years. The increase is vital as rental prices soar.
Individuals will receive 400 shekels ($103) a month, compared with the current 213 shekels; families will receive 800 shekels a month, up from 400 shekels. The assistance does not factor in family size. Also, immigrants can only start receiving the money once they have been in the country eight months.
In spite of the increased subsidy, with the high cost of rentals in today’s market, this subsidy will not make a huge difference.
This change will cost the Ministry of Aliyah & Integration 60 million shekels a year.
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The last two years have seen more immigrants than in other years this decade (mostly from France). Last year there were 26,500 immigrants, a 32% increase over 2013.
The ministry is also increasing assistance for elderly people living on their own. They currently receive between 800 and 1,400 shekels a month, depending on age and family status. They will now receive an extra 120 to 150 shekels a month, a move that will cost the ministry 30 million shekels a year.
Also, there will be a significant increase for families waiting for public housing, as well as for single-parent families, the disabled, wheelchair-bound and people suffering from serious illnesses, who are now entitled to 1,250 shekels a month.
These groups will now receive an extra 800 to 1,000 shekels a month. It was also decided to build an additional 1,000 public-housing units for immigrants.