Translation Requirement for Arabic Documents as a Condition for Housing Assistance
On May 20, 2021, we filed a petition with the Jerusalem Court of Administrative Affairs against the Ministry of Housing, demanding that they change a discriminatory policy: Public housing companies refuse to accept applications for housing assistance (public housing or rent assistance) in Arabic in order to prove eligibility for aid, therefore requiring individuals to translate documents into Hebrew at their own expense.
In the petition, we argued that this policy discriminates against Arab applicants, and violates their right to adequate housing. We further claimed that the policy violates the capacity for a vulnerable population in need to exercise its rights, thus undermining the entire purpose of the government housing assistance system. The vast barriers that exist for the Arab population in the field of housing lead to an especially low rate of individuals who are able to exercise their rights among this population, despite the high rate of poverty and enormous housing crisis. We demanded that the Ministry of Housing adapt its services to make them accessible, rather than creating additional bureaucratic hurdles.
In response to the petition, the Attorney General's Office announced that the Ministry of Housing will accept eligibility documents in Arabic beginning in December 2021.
Administrative Petition 40835-05-21
Attorney: Reut Shaer
For further information (Hebrew)