While the rocket attacks into Sderot and the surrounding area have scared many families into leaving their homes, Sderot serves as a reasonable option for many poorer families whom have opted to move in due to the attractive rents, the result of the city being on the frontline and bombarded with rockets over past years. Seventy such families moved into the community in 2007. This is in addition to many families that felt compelled to join the community in a showing of solidarity with the city’s rocket-battered population.
In addition, the government perks make the city increasingly attractive, with a 50% discount in arnona property tax and a 25% deduction in income tax.
A two bedroom apartment, fully and attractively furnished, is going for NIS 1,400 a month. An unfurnished is NIS 1,200. According to real estate agent Alexander Aviram, there are plenty apartments available for rent at present.
Miriam Guani runs the Merkaz HaChesed, where many of the poor gather for a hot lunch. She explains when a new person or family moves in, and they are needy, they register with social services and then they are referred to me. “When people are hungry, they do not worry about rockets, they need to eat.”
No one is turned away she states, adding Merkaz HaChesed makes certain to give them and their children a hearty meal.
Officials in City Hall are less than pleased, fearing they will get a stigma as being a city for the underprivileged and unfortunate, a reality that might keep established families from considering Sderot as a viable option.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)