Visit to Yeongdeungpo Flophouse Village
Date: February 3, 2012
Venue: Yeongdeungpo Flophouse Village
Mayor Park: How about here? In a cold room. I saw some repair works being done.
Residents’ representative: Thanks for the cement, roofing materials, and briquettes.
Head of Yeongdeungpo-gu Office: And now we have installed water meters for each household.
Mayor Park: This redevelopment project you have planned will take a long time. If you go ahead with the project, it should be done in a way that revives the neighborhood.
Head of Yeongdeungpo-gu Office: It is regrettable that these vulnerable people in the flophouse village have been forced out by the redevelopment project. I would like to see them continue to live here even after the development is complete.
Director Kim Gyeong-ho: That’s the vision of Mayor Park.
Mayor Park: Instead of completely demolishing all structures and constructing large buildings, I suggest that we carry out more measured development together with the neighborhood residents. Although my staff has installed toilets and power meters, seeing this place myself makes me quite sad. The quality of this housing should be improved. The other day, you told me that you would redevelop the whole area. Regardless of whether that is possible or not, please think about how we can improve the quality of housing here and improve the landscape while preserving the characteristics of this neighborhood.
Pastor: One of the most pressing issues is that we have so many senior citizens living here. We need more places for them to rest and relax.
Mayor Park: In that regard, if pastors or local activists can come up with more precise ideas and plans, the staff in our Housing Division may be able to lend support.
Head of Yeongdeungpo-gu Office: We are proceeding carefully while carrying out more research and reviews.
Reporter Lee Jeong-hyeon: We visited a facility for the homeless yesterday. It is clear that we need to provide more support for them, as they could become homeless again at any time. Do you have any ideas regarding this issue? What about employment for the homeless?
Mayor Park: We need to think about how to create more jobs. Joblessness among the youth and the homeless are similar issues. As the number of day laborer jobs is decreasing due to the lack of large-scale construction projects, we need to pursue alternative means of achieving steady job creation. Jobs may be created in areas such as urban agriculture and air pollution prevention, and these can be linked to the vitalization of retail shops in the neighborhood, or to a village community business. These efforts can create jobs in the community. And we can support good companies with the purchasing power of Seoul Metropolitan City. I asked my staff to conduct a comprehensive review on that.