Expanding Public Housing Eligibility for Widowed Parents

7 March 2022

The widowed parents’ pension in Israel is designed to provide the means for Israeli widows/widowers and their dependent children to live in dignity after the untimely death of a parent with children under 18. Now following the efforts of NIF grantee The Forum for Public Housing, the Ministry of Housing and Construction has agreed not to include that allowance in the calculations that determine whether widowed parents and their children are eligible for public housing. In other words, this “income” won’t be counted against them. The new calculation will also benefit widowed families applying for rental assistance.

As Haaretz reported, “The decision was made as a result of Paulina Mogilinsky’s case, a single parent with four children who was not recognized as eligible for public housing because her ‘widowed parent allowance’ was calculated as part of her income.” Last week, the Ministry of Housing and Construction announced that, after examining the subject, the allowance paid to the children would no longer be calculated as part of single parents’ income when it came to requests for rental assistance or public housing. Due to the change, Mogilinsky is now entitled to submit a new request for public housing.

“There are thousands more women like Paulina suffering because of injustices created by the Ministry of Housing and the Ministry of Finance,” says Etti Chen from The Forum for Public Housing. “We are talking about legal abuse and inconceivable suffering undergone by many people because of harmful policies. We at the Forum are determined to bring an end to this abuse.”

In an additional achievement around public housing, following a petition by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), and the Arab Center for Alternative Planning in Israel, the Housing Ministry’s committee for examining criteria for public housing will add two representatives — one Palestinian citizen of Israel and one member of the Ethiopian-Israeli community.