An attempt to build a new non-chareidi neighborhood in Beit Shemesh failed, Haaretz reported.
Of 16 tenders released under the Mechir L’Mishtaken (subsidized price) program for the new Neveh Shamir neighborhood, only five attracted bids, resulting in a 1,700-home project shrinking to 600 homes. A contractor explained that the city’s hilly topography makes construction difficult. Moreover, Bottom of Form most who registered for the cheap homes were chareidi because of the increasingly religious ambience of the town.
Plans for Neveh Shamir, the city’s fifth new neighborhood, had called for a direct access road to a nearby highway to help secular residents avoid driving through the town on Shabbos.