In response to various economic difficulties faced by Seoul citizens, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will be offering public welfare benefits and programs in the year 2016 targeting certain demographics. For older residents on the verge of retirement, the city will be running the “50+ Campus” program, which will provide connections to job opportunities, mentoring opportunities, education/counseling programs and culture/health programs. The “50+ Campus” program will kick off in Seoul’s northwestern districts in April and expand to downtown districts in September. Through the program, citizens in their mid-50s will be provided with free mental health check-ups and consultations. The program marks the first time such services have been offered in Korea free of charge.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government will also be offering support services to single mothers through a newly-established advice hotline operated as part of the 120 Dasan Call Center. The hotline will provide one-stop services for mothers—from initial consultations to problem resolution provided by certified labor consultants. Also for mothers is the “Seoul Baby Health Care” program, a program in which trained professional nurses visit the homes of newborns to provide mother-baby health check-ups as well as childcare and breastfeeding information. In 2016, the program will be expanded to cover 18 districts.
For building owners, the government will be operating the “Seoul Long-Term Safe Shopping Arcade” program, which will offer up to KRW 30 million in remodeling fees for building owners who provide long-term rental space to small business owners, the backbone of Seoul’s economy. This program is aimed at encouraging small businesses by providing space without excessive rent increases.
In May, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will also begin a new housing support program in which the government purchases worn-out gosiwons and motel buildings and renovates them into residential spaces for single-person households. These renovated buildings will be made available at rent prices that are at least 50 percent cheaper than the going rate.
To address the city’s lack of parking, the government will be constructing eight public parking garages, which will go into operation sometime in 2016. These parking garages will be designed specifically with the convenience of Seoul citizens in mind.
In order to address these and other key issues, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will be making changes related to 45 programs in five main areas. Changes include both the addition of new policies/programs as well as changes that will go into effect in 2016 due to legal amendments made by the city and/or national governments. The Seoul Metropolitan Government will provide details regarding these changes in the form of an online booklet titled “Changes in Seoul Life in 2016.”