So much to do, so little money – that is my honest opinion on the situation! Seoul Metropolitan City has a deficit of KRW 20 trillion and it’s growing. There are more projects under way with plenty more coming in the pipeline. A bad economy means less taxable income, while welfare costs such as childcare have gone up. Not to mention the construction of 80,000 rental homes I have promised. However, some see opportunity in a crisis. Indeed, a time of crisis can also be a time of creativity and innovation.
Now that the conventional full-scale redevelopment has slowed down, we can no longer expect rental housing to generate itself. We found ourselves compelled to adopt a different approach: our solution has been to diversify the supply route.
80,000 rented homes in Seoul take a new step forward
Galhyeon-dong district’s vacant 119 Center (empty since September) will become a dormitory for college students in October of this year. An old government building will be reborn as a rental home. Not only does this reduce construction costs, it also cuts down the construction time. More rental homes will be built in the same fashion in Deungchon-dong, Sinnae-dong, Geoyeo-dong, and Suyu-dong. The assembly homes built under the overpass to improve living conditions in the Yeongdeungpo Area are intended for people living in dosshouses and homeless people. One thousand eco-friendly homes will also be built in Gija-chon in the Eunpyeong-gu District.
Seoul City Rental Home (example)
I instructed the architects to build something so splendid that tourists and architects will come from all around the world to see them. Our goal is to provide 2,673 small homes for one to two people this year and 4,050 long-term rental homes with key money support by next year.
Furthermore, thirty studio apartments will be built in Sadang-dong’s rented lot, along with 200 doss houses and 45 boarding houses. Nearby multi-household homes will be purchased and remodeled into welfare facilities such as city hospitals and clinics, and co-op rental homes will be offered to college students living away from home.
Meanwhile, those who are in the job market or preparing to start a business will have the option of living in a dojeonsuk (Korean for ‘lodge of challenge’) accompanied by a support program. The regulations on minimum space have been increased from 14㎡ to 17㎡ for single-occupancy homes and from 26㎡ to 36㎡for two-person homes.
Which type of rental home is best for you?
If all goes as planned we will have around 25,000 rental homes ready for the public within this year. That accounts for 71,764, or 90%, of all the homes I have promised to the city.
Some 17,979 of the 46,782 homes we prepared last year are good to rent this year. It seems we have surpassed our goals, which is just as well, as housing is a growing issue for Seoul. We will do our very best to provide a firm safety net for our grass-roots citizens.