As luck would have it, after writing yesterday's post about the derelict decaying empty buildings, I saw a notice at Haaretz today about a different but similar problem.
One new solution is called Turn on all the lights in Jerusalem.
At the project's website Mayor Nir Barkat addresses the absentee foreign landlords thus:
" . . . the number of Jerusalem homes owned by people in the Diaspora has created a troublesome phenomenon in the city resulting in a shortage of affordable apartments available for young people in the city. In addition, certain neighborhoods are beginning to feel like 'Ghost towns' with large proportions of their residents away most of the year round.
According to the data available to us, there are approximately 11,160 such apartments in Jerusalem, 8,000 of which stand empty for most of the year, while about 7,000 young people leave the city every year, mainly due to the shortage of residential solutions.
Dear friend, we must ensure that Jerusalem's lights will continue to shine even in the months when you are not in the city. If you own a residential property which is not in use throughout the year , we urge you to please rent it to top-tier students or other young people who are so vital to us in the city.
In order to make the process easier and to provide confidence in renting your property, we have selected several leading property management companies, all of which have been carefully vetted for their reliability and quality of service. You are invited to contact the selected companies next time you are in Jerusalem."
Great, fine idea! Now if the Municipality would also solve the problem addressed in yesterday's post, so much the better.