Affordable Housing in Israel


Israelis face an extremely difficult housing market: Rentals are scarce and real estate is expensive. The struggle is exacerbated by the fact that a dramatic rise in housing costs over the past five years has not been matched by an increase in average household incomes.

At the same time, public housing solutions have dwindled over the last few decades. Worse still, investors are increasingly attracted to the luxury home market - largely for foreign buyers - which puts pressure on developers to increase profits at the expense of providing affordable housing options.

All of these challenges underscore the complexities of the issue. Resolving them requires a new set of affordable housing instruments for policy and program development in Israel.

Toward this end, the Milken Institute Israel Center is convening a Financial Innovations Lab to craft a roadmap that will help mobilize new sources of private capital, leverage current capital already committed to the housing market, and create tools for communities and local governments to engage developers in creating public-private partnerships for affordable housing.

Lab participants - including government representatives from entities such as the National Economic Council and Ministries of Finance and Housing, private-sector investors, academics, philanthropists and social entrepreneurs - will review best practices from abroad and design funding models that can leverage public funding with private capital to increase access to financing for affordable housing. The diverse cross-section of attendees will help focus the discussion on the actual application and implementation of solutions as well as the required policy and regulatory adjustments.

Results from the Lab, including recommended next steps for implementation, will be published soon. For information, contact Caitlin MacLean, associate director of Financial Innovations Labs, at