Requirement to Translate Documents from Arabic to Hebrew as a Condition for Housing Assistance
On May 20, 2021, ACRI filed a petition against the Ministry of Construction and Housing in the Jerusalem Administrative Court, demanding a change in a discriminatory policy: public housing companies refuse to accept documents that prove eligibility for housing assistance (public housing or rent assistance) in Arabic, and require that these documents be translated into Hebrew at the applicants’ 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 compromises the capacity for an already disadvantaged population in need to exhaust their rights, thus undermining the purpose of the government housing assistance system. The multiple barriers faced by the Arab population in the field of housing have led to this population having a particularly low rate of exercising their rights, despite the high rate of poverty and enormous housing crisis faced by the Arab public. We argued that the Ministry of Construction and Housing must immediately act to make its services more accessible to Arabic-speaking applicants, rather than creating these additional bureaucratic obstacles and burdens.
Following the petition, the State Attorney's Office announced that the Ministry of Construction and Housing will translate eligibility documents from Hebrew into Arabic starting this coming December. On October 10, 2021, the court validated the announcement, deeming it a ruling.
Administrative Petition 40835-05-21
Attorney: Reut Shaer
For further information (Hebrew)