State Representation in Legal Proceedings Against Public Housing Tenants
On October 5, 2021, we appealed to the Attorney General demanding a change to the contractual arrangement between the Ministry of Construction and Housing and the state-owned Amidar housing company. This agreement permits Amidar to take “all legal action" against public housing tenants and those deemed state property trespassers, in order to collect debts and carry out evictions.
In the appeal, ACRI attorneys Reut Shaer and Maskit Bendel claimed that these are sensitive authorities that must be exercised with great discretion and consideration, while giving due weight to individual rights and general public interest. Granting Amidar the authority to conduct proceedings, which in turn hands authority over to private lawyers, constitutes utter detachment from the discretion they are granted, in a field situated at the core of the social safety net. Moreover, the biased profit and gain oriented company poses a conflict of interest in the execution of the role it has been granted. Amidar’s management of the proceedings was even conducted without genuine supervision on behalf of the Ministry of Construction and Housing. In the absence of supervision, the arrangement constitutes fertile ground for infringing on the rights of a vulnerable population, which faces difficulty in obtaining representation and upholding its rights throughout legal proceedings.