Over the past decade, in the wake of the global housing crisis, many countries have again turned to public housing to increase the supply of affordable housing for disadvantaged residents. Because the literature and past experience have generally shown public-housing policies to be contrary to the urban-diversity approach, many countries are reshaping their policies and focusing on a mix of people and of land uses. In this context, the Israeli case is particularly interesting. In Israel, as in many other countries (such as Germany and England), there was greater urban diversity in public-housing construction during the 1950s and 1960s (following the state’s establishment in 1948). However, at the beginning of the new millennium, when many countries began to realise the need for change and started reshaping their public-housing policies in light of the urban-diversity approach, Israel responded differently. In this study I use urban diversity’s main principles – the mix of population and land uses – to examine the trajectory of public-housing policy in Israel from a central housing policy to a marginal one. The findings and the lessons derived from the Israeli case are relevant to a variety of current affordable-housing developments in many places.
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