On January 22, Seoul held the 2020 business report to the citizens. Mayor Park Won-soon announced the direction and the goals of the city’s administration to realize the “Fair Starting Line,” the key agenda of the Seoul Metropolitan Government. Afterward, the city of Seoul revealed to citizens the four major projects it will concentrate its efforts on this year.
The four major projects in 2020 to realize the “Fair Starting Line” include ① the support for innovative start-ups, ② the support for young people who are starting their careers, ③ the housing support for newlywed couples, and ④ the establishment of Community Kium Centers.
First, the “support for innovative start-ups” as the driving force of development in the future.
Last year, Seoul declared that it will make itself become one of the top five cities for start-ups and has concentrated resources for innovative start-ups to generate a new driving force for economic growth. In 2020, with a three-step “scale up” strategy for ensuring internal stability and widening the potential scale of start-ups, the city will focus on expanding opportunities that lead to their success.
Above all, an inclusive start-up support system will be established to provide key resources that an aspiring business might need, such as space, funds, and human resources. This year, 300 more spaces for start-ups with technologies will be established and the innovation fund of KRW 480 billion, about double the original target amount, will be prepared to be invested in 500 start-ups. Seoul will actively support the entry of Seoul-based start-ups to the international market by selecting 500 promising start-ups to promote them in overseas markets, associating them with major companies, having them receive support in the development of technologies as well as sourcing new markets.
Second, the “support for young people who are starting their careers” to assure them of a “Fair Starting Line.”
As the city that has led the youth policy of the Republic of Korea with its unique policies, such as Youth Ordinance and Youth Allowance, Seoul will boldly increase its investment in the youth this year for the Fair Starting Line.
The reality in which young people are living tends to be discouraging as they are suffering high tuition fees and housing expenses. Inequal starting lines due to their asset and property discrimination lead to a wider gap between their qualities of life.
In 2020, to support the initial career of the young generation, Seoul will increase the number of recipients of Youth Allowance to 30,000 and invest about KRW 500 billion in a total of 60 projects, including the support of youths’ mental health and the establishment of Seoul Youth Centers.
Third, the “housing support for newlywed couples” as the starting line of newlyweds.
For newlywed couples, finding a house in which to live in is one of the largest burdens they face. In 2020, Seoul will expand the number of houses and the amount of financial support for them. The city has plans to supply 8,000 houses that will be added to the current 17,000 houses, which will create a total of 25,000 houses.
Specifically, Seoul expanded the support for the interest of housing loans for newlywed couples, from up to the APR of 1.2 % to 3.0 %, and ease the standard for the household income (from KRW 80 million to KRW 97 million). This measure has won fervent response, triggering a sixfold increase in the applications for support compared to last year. Seoul Housing Portal (http://housing.seoul.go.kr/) provides information about tailor-made houses as well as the application channel for financial support.
Fourth, the “establishment of Community Kium Centers” for seamless care with a warm starting line.
Working mothers, who raise their children while holding a job, face the biggest crisis when their children enter elementary school. Based on the belief that the nation and society should share the responsibility of bearing children and parenting, Seoul is aggressively pursuing the expansion of Community Kium Centers for the care of elementary school students.
Seoul will increase the number of municipal Kium Centers to provide children with better experiences to 25 by 2021. The municipal Kium Center will model itself on Annantalo Arts Centre in Finland, offering space for children to freely play but with safety in mind, providing participatory care services in arts, culture, and creativity that strengthen the self-directedness of children.
Seoul also expands the number of universal and convergent Community Kium Centers to make them accessible within 10 minutes from a house or a school by 2021, a year earlier than it originally planned to.
Treatment for the workers of the Kium Centers will be greatly ameliorated to improve the quality of the care and offer stable care services. Currently, those who are working for Kium Centers are receiving living wages. From this year, the city of Seoul will apply the uniform wage scheme to assure them of the level of wages as those who work for welfare centers.
The functions of Seoul iCare (https://iseoul.seoul.go.kr/icare/index.do), the website where you can gain information on more than 1,200 care facilities, will be expanded to inform you of detailed information on available care resources in your neighborhood and align the information according to the types of centers.