Israeli cabinet approves moving housing planning to Treasury

Israeli cabinet approves moving housing planning to Treasury

Moshe Kahlon, who will become Israel Land Authority chairman, is being given all the Interior Ministry’s housing authority.

A proposal for the establishment of the new housing cabinet was discussed by the cabinet today, which approved its composition and authority. At the same time, the cabinet also approved the transfer of planning administration authority and other matters to Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon.

The proposal distributed to the ministers yesterday included 13 ministers in the new housing cabinet, while excluding the Minister of Environmental Protection. The proposal was later amended, however, to add the Ministry of Environmental Protection director general to the housing cabinet, but only as an observer without voting rights. This proposal was approved by the cabinet today. The cabinet resolution also lists other parties to be invited regularly to housing cabinet meetings, without giving them voting rights, including the government legal advisor and the head of the National Economic Council.

In addition to the cabinet decision about the housing cabinet composition, the cabinet also approved a resolution entitled, « Adapting the Government Estate Management and Planning Structure to Cope with the Housing Crisis. » Among other things, this proposal includes the transfer of Israel Land Authority (ILA) to Kahlon, transfer of the Planning Administration and District Planning offices in the Ministry of the Interior to the Ministry of Finance, and the establishment of a housing headquarters in the Ministry of Finance.

Under this cabinet resolution, Kahlon will be responsible for the ILA, and will have the authority formerly given to the Minister of the Interior under the Planning and Building Law. Among other things, this will make Kahlon ILA chairman. At the same time, the cabin resolution states that the need for legislative amendments needed for transferring this authority to the Minister of Finance will be considered.

The Minister of the Interior’s authority under the Planning and Building Law will be given to the Minister of Finance, as well as his authority relating to the housing expediting committees, the Preferred Housing Sites Law, the National Parks, Nature Reserves, National Sites and Memorial Sites Law, and the Natural Gas Law. This transfer of authority significantly reduces the Minister of the Interior’s power. The cabinet resolution also states that legislative changes stipulating these changes will be considered, while adding that this matter will still require the housing cabinet’s approval.

The resolution states that the new national housing headquarters in the Ministry of Finance will be established within 30 days, and will « serve as a headquarters aimed at ensuring that government policy on housing is implemented. » The tasks and authority of the official heading the headquarters will be brought to the housing cabinet for approval within 14 days. At the same time, the housing headquarters’ work plans will also be brought to the housing cabinet for approval.

The cabinet resolution also addressed the changes in legislation needed to carry out all these actions, stating that the Ministry of Finance shall distribute for approval by the government or the ministerial legislative committee a memorandum about a law for all the legislative amendments needed to implement this resolution, insofar as they are needed, within 14 days of a decision by the housing cabinet.

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