Public housing as control: Spatial policy of settling immigrants in Israeli development towns

Erez Tzfadia

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25 Scopus citations


This paper examines the relationship between inter-ethnic power relations and public housing policy for immigrants in Israel since 1948. Based on a comparative analysis of Israeli policy of housing Mizrahi immigrants in the 1950s and Russian immigrants in the 1990s, the paper argues that despite the perceived decline in the state's capacity, the implication of public housing policy has remained unchanged since the 1950s. By moving Jewish immigrants into development towns in sparsely populated and overwhelmingly Palestinian regions of the country, Israeli policy has served to Judaize these regions and to reinforce ethnic stratification among the country's Jewish population. In this manner, Israeli public housing policy was neither consistent with conceptions of post-Second World War public housing policies in welfare states nor with the recent impact of globalization and the free-market dynamics on public housing policies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)523-537
Number of pages15
JournalHousing Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Development towns
  • Ethno-national logic
  • Immigration
  • Public housing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies


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