Homes for the aged and residential zoning: Can legislation make a diffference?

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The aging of Israel society makes it essential to formulate a policy for the housing of the older population. One of the tools for the formulation and application of social policy in this sphere is urban planning law, especially within the context of zoning. In the mid-1990s, the Israeli Planning and Construction Law was amended to make it legally permissible to plan, build, and operate homes for the aged in residential zones. The amendment was enacted in the wake of a number of judgments by the Israeli Supreme Court of Justice, which adopted a formalistic approach that in effect, forbade the erection and operation of old-age homes in residential zones. Analysis of the factors that brought this amendment about and of the tendencies encapsulated in the judgments which followed it reveals that it has succeeded in changing the juridical policy in this area. It appears, however, that the amendment has not yet succeeded in altering the views of this matter prevalent in Israeli society, which believes in the maxim "not in my back yard" in matters concerning old-age homes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-115
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Housing for the Elderly
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2006


  • Elder law
  • Homes for the aged
  • Nursing homes
  • Planning and zoning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Public Administration
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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