Housing with a View
Haifa has very good housing at attractive prices and a broad range of possibilities – from small studio apartments to large private homes with gardens and swimming pool. On the whole, the price of housing in Haifa is the most reasonable of all the large cities in Israel. Within the city, the cheaper apartments are in the downtown neighborhoods and they get more expensive as you go up the Carmel Mountain. Denya, the luxury neighborhood near Haifa University at the top of Mt. Carmel, is composed almost exclusively of large single-family dwellings.
Carmel average apartment prices as of December 2011:
2-bedroom rental:$700 - 1000
2-bedroom purchase: $250,000 -500,000
3-bedroom rental:$850 -1200
3-bedroom purchase: $300,000 – 600,000
It is very difficult to make arrangements to rent or purchase housing from overseas and ideally a pilot tour conducted close to your aliya date can serve to finalize housing accommodations. The possibility of obtaining government-sponsored housing for the initial period within Haifa is almost non-existent. Jewish Agency Absorption Centers are located in other Northern cities; eligibility for them is determined through your local Jewish Agency emissary overseas.
There are a few resources available for short-term housing when you first arrive in Haifa. One possibility is an inexpensive hotel, where you may be able to stay for a week or two while you search for a more permanent residence. A short-term klita apartment (for 2-4 weeks) is sometimes available on susidized terms through the Haifa project manager Smadar Stoller Porat email@example.com. You may also wish to look at Carmel Corporate Apartments' website: they have apartments on Mt. Carmel suitable for initial accommodations – they can be contacted at - firstname.lastname@example.org. They have 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments available for a daily, weekly or monthly fee.
For your more permanent housing search, for rent or for sale, there are numerous websites that may be helpful, listing by city, size and budget: yad2, Homeless and Win Win. All are in Hebrew and you will need the help of someone familiar with Haifa to determine which streets are in the neighborhood you seek. As in employment, your search for housing should include a local Haifa paper such as Kolbo, which, although in Hebrew, Ahuza listings are translated weekly by Ahuza volunteers and it has extensive listings in all areas of Haifa.
There are also many realtors in Haifa, a good number with English-speaking agents. Most have limited rental listings and do far more business with properties for sale. .