Public Housing/Socioeconomic Justice for Israelis
Rabbi Ascherman has remained a member of the ״Ma'abarah״ the Jerusalem public housing collective he helped found in 2010. The Ma'abarah is part of the extremely successful national "Public Housing Forum" that he also founded. The Forum has brought about a major reversal of the policy of successive governments since the early 90's to eliminate public housing. Today, Israel is again building public housing, but there was much backtracking under the outgoing government, that even resumed evicting families from public housing. The Forum sometimes succeeded in stopping evictions, either through lobbying or through the courts, or through barricading ourselves in the homes of threatened families.The eligibility criteria currently deny public housing to many in need, and must be changed. We succeeded in getting the outgoing government to set up a committee to examine criteria, but reports from the committee are not encouraging. The Ma'abarah runs a legal clinic in conjunction with the legal clinic of Hebrew University. Law students and our staff have helped tens of those in needs to access public housing, avoid eviction, cancel unfair debts, etc.