Jerusalem family of six, unable to pay rent, relocates to the lake

Avidan Ofir, his wife, and their four children were recently forced out of their Jerusalem residence after losing their ability to pay rent, following the financial crisis brought on by the novel coronavirus.
“Shortly after Passover, we realized that we could not continue to pay the rent in Jerusalem,” Ofir explained the situation in an interview with N12 on Sunday. 

“So, about three months ago, we moved to live in a spring in Jerusalem, near Aminadav. Then, after a long job search, I had the option to come and work here, so we decided to go down to the area of ​​Zikim,” he explained.

“You can see behind me the tent and a tarp we put up so that we would not be in the sun,” Ofir described their lives on the lake. “There are tents there and I’ve also built such a small kitchen. We wanted to be here this summer to save on rent and get reorganized on our lives and see how we get build ourselves up again in the situation that has arisen. Our children are very happy, for them it is excellent.”

However, about a week ago, the Ofir family camp was paid a visit by local authorities, who demanded they vacate the area. Ofir told the authorities that they have no plans to stay there for a long time. “I explained to the inspectors several times, I told them ‘I’m a man with four children, I wouldn’t live like this all my life. I am only here until September, my children are already enrolled in school in Jerusalem – I just need you to give me a second to breathe, relax, get organized, find my footing and fix my employment situation. I’m not a person who’s going to take over any space,'” he told N12.”I told him ‘I’m willing to sign any paper and anything you ask, just give us a second to breathe,'” he said.

“We are normal people, we do not come from any kind of problematic background,” he stressed. “We are just trying to find ourselves and reorganize, and the pressure of renting has just created a lot of economic pressure on us. Our financial situation wasn’t exactly amazing before the pandemic either.”

“We are not in a normal situation today. Our situation is one that requires everyone, all systems, to consider everyone,” Ofir concluded.