Profile: Public Housing Activist Ruti Lavi

14 July 2016

Ruti Lavi is a public housing activist who works with families facing eviction from their homes, those who face endless waits for public housing, and people dealing with massive debt.

“I work with them to ensure that the authorities know that there is someone following up, and to make sure they don’t get abused,” she explains. “This can be extremely effective. Sometimes I give them information, help them write letters, or connect them to other people facing similar problems so that they can work together.”

“Even though there are a number of other important struggles, I realized that a roof over one’s head is the most important thing.”

Levi, who is active with NIF grantee the Forum for Public Housing, describes one public housing struggle that was particularly successful. “The plans for urban renewal were supposed to leave around 3,000 people living in public housing homeless. We made a lot of noise and we managed to stop it.”

Levi keeps in touch with the families she supports, and some of them have become close friends. “I’ve met women who had the brains to be MKs. When a single mother is forced to survive and find ways to raise her children, it’s much harder than manipulating the country and spending twenty-eight million shekels on a trip to Africa.”