Affordable housing for Arab residents of Jaffa
On June 3, 2021, we sent our position regarding an affordable housing project intended for Jaffa’s Arab population, to Deputy Attorney General Erez Kaminitz. In our letter, we argued that, although ACRI has taken the strongest possible stance against housing discrimination for years, this particular project does not appear to be defective as it aims to contend with the unique implications of gentrification in Jaffa, and the tangible threat it poses to the Arab community’s capacity to continue residing in the city.
Therefore, considering the circumstances of this matter, ACRI Attorney Gil Gan-Mor, Director of the Social and Economic Rights Unit and of the Right to Housing Program reviewed the background information on the unique housing hardships faced by Jaffa’s Arab population. He reviewed, specifically, the planning and construction policy pursued by the planning authorities and by the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality over the years, the extreme gentrification that has occurred in Jaffa in recent decades, and the unique implications that it has had on the local Arab community. Furthermore, the appeal noted that this community belongs to a national minority group, whose communal center of life has always been the city of Jaffa, and who lacks any alternative housing options within municipal borders. As such, we argued that the Municipality’s proposed response is necessary, and that it must not be perceived as constituting prohibited discrimination, due to the unique circumstances.