(February 3, 2022, Ramat HaNegev, Israel, JNS Wire) Finding your dream home is hard enough, and for small towns and regions on Israel’s frontier such as Ramat HaNegev, the added burden of navigating red tape, infrastructure development, and zoning makes it even harder to attract quality housing projects and in turn, new residents. That’s where Jewish National Fund-USA has stepped in to support the country’s modern-day Zionist pioneers as they make the desert bloom.
On a recent ILTV news broadcast, JNF-USA Chief Development Officer, Rick Krosnick, explained that the Housing Development Fund takes on the financial risk because banks are often too risk-averse to support housing loans in Israel’s frontier communities. “JNF-USA and Ramat HaNegev, in particular, are strategic partners working together to develop this area and that’s how we work with all of the regional councils and local communities throughout Israel,” said Krosnick.
Jewish National Fund-USA Liaison to Ramat HaNegev, Dafna Cohen shared how more communities are needed along Israel’s remote border with Egypt and Gaza. “Only this morning I went with a Jewish National Fund-USA professional to the border with Egypt,” said Cohen. “[We have] a 200 kilometer (124 mile) border with Egypt from Gaza to Eilat yet only five very small Jewish communities are located there. That’s why we have 50 housing lots planned for next year to bolster Israeli communities along the border.”
Through Jewish National Fund-USA’s innovative Housing Development Fund, over 1,500 housing lots (and counting) have been supported by over $22 million in philanthropic investments as part of the organization’s strategic vision of attracting 800,000 new residents to Israel’s Negev and Galilee Regions.
According to Krosnick, demand for housing on Israel’s frontier continues to increase. “Our Housing Development Fund was created in 2014 and in that short time, we’re already involved in 29 communities…and we couldn’t be more excited about our work’s future. In fact, our fund has been so successful that we’re already looking at a ‘phase 2’ where we can support 800 new housing lots.”
For more information about Jewish National Fund-USA’s Housing Development Fund, visit jnf.org/hdf or contact Rick Krosnick at firstname.lastname@example.org.