After once living in the haredi part of Jerusalem’s Ramot neighbourhood, I would never ever move into such an area. I was actually quite lucky because the neighbours were, more or less, normal. However, in the worst case, your direct neighbours already watch you in the stairwell. They pay attention to your modesty level and just judge you. 🙂
The neighbours also pay attention whether you have a TV set in the house. In many haredi neighbourhoods, neither TV nor Internet is not allowed. I don’t know if Mea Shearim even allows a radio. 🙂
Renting or purchasing an apartment in a haredi neighbourhood is extremely expensive. The worst rotten apartments in the Mea Shearim market or in the backyards cost a fortune. Bar Ilan Street, Sanhedria, Givat Sha’ul, Har Nof and other places are terribly expensive. I guess that Kiryat Belz must be one of THE most expensive areas to live in.
I have no idea how people with a low income manage paying the rent. How many times can one go to a Gmach?
Already some years ago, many Haredim started to move out of Jerusalem. To Ramat Beit Shemesh, Kiryat Sefer, Beitar, to Ashdod, to the new Vishnitz area in Afulah, to Tiberias (Karlin-Stolin), to the Haifa region or to Zfat. Bnei Brak is as expensive as Jerusalem and thus Haredim move into haredi towns near the coast. It didn’t take too long and prices in those areas went up.
In Mea Shearim you find families with 12 or more children squeezed into a 3-room apartments.
The biggest problem is that our government doesn’t build too many new buildings. Especially not in or near Jerusalem. If there is a construction site, the apartments will be luxury places no one can pay for. Otherwise Bibi Netanyahu is stopping any attempt to build new houses due to Palestinian and leftist claims. Palestinians, on the other hand, don’t care at all and build all sorts of illegal houses in their own neighbourhoods.