Tiberias secures NIS 2.7b budget to reinvigorate ‘capital’ of north

New funds, joint approach by municipality and government bodies set to boost housing, public spaces in city on the Sea of Galilee

A view of Tiberias and the Sea of Galilee, 2019. (Thomas Leirikh via iStock by Getty Images)
A view of Tiberias and the Sea of Galilee, 2019. (Thomas Leirikh via iStock by Getty Images)

The northern city of Tiberias has secured a budget of NIS 2.7 billion ($760 million) to build new neighborhoods across town with a total of 7,400 homes.

The budget includes the construction of new public spaces, parks, roads and other infrastructure in the city, as part of a joint effort with the Israeli Housing Ministry and the Israel Land Authority

The parties signed an over-arching agreement late last month to work in a coordinated way to deliver significant housing as well as commercial and open spaces and to do so as quickly as possible. There will also be budgets for the establishment of public institutions and the renovation of old infrastructure.

The sum is expected to speed up the building process and to facilitate the absorption of new residents. In return, the Tiberias Municipality has committed to streamlining the planning process, reducing bureaucracy and granting building permits faster.

The aim is to create a stronger center for the eastern part of the Galilee, a city that can attract both people and work opportunities.

According to Minister of Construction and Housing Ze’ev Elkin, “the new agreement will increase the population of Tiberias by 50%… [and is] not only new construction but also urban renewal that will change the face of the city and turn old neighborhoods into new and modern ones.”

A blueprint has already been published for the western Galilee. The focus on Tiberias is designed to strengthen opportunities across entire northeastern part of the country.

This is not the first attempt to regenerate and expand Tiberias. While the city has developed a role as a tourist center in the region, particularly for Christian tourists, it has been slow to attract permanent residents and businesses.

House prices, however, remain lower than in many other parts of Israel. A three-bedroom (four-room) apartment can be found for between NIS 1 million and NIS 1.2 million ($283,434 to $340,120), compared to around NIS 4 million ($1,133,733), an average apartment price in Tel Aviv.

The new plans could become attractive to those looking to buy a first home at a more affordable price, so long as the investment can also deliver the employment prospects needed to underpin growth.

Tiberias’s acting mayor Boaz Yosef said the city has been pushing for this funding for many years.

“All we have asked for all these years was the push, the government’s assistance, and the full faith in Tiberias that it can regain its famous glow — [with] the same charm on the Sea of ​​Galilee, the beautiful Tiberias, the city that everyone wants to see flourish and prosper,” Yosef said in a statement.

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed