Gov’t to provide 170,000 homes

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Gov’t to provide 170,000 homes

The new land minister, Kim Hyunmee, announced that the government will provide 170,000 public housing units every year for people facing financial burdens due to the soaring prices of jeonse, or long-sum deposits.

The recent move is in line with President Moon Jae-in’s promise, made during his campaign, to provide as many homes.

“The top priority of the policy is to comfort those who are suffering from the hike in jeonse prices and the rising rate of people paying monthly rents,” said Kim on Monday. “The government will do its best so that no one is disadvantaged in the housing welfare sector.”

According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport on Monday, the government will provide 300,000 housing units for young Koreans and another 200,000 units for newlyweds by 2022. Kim’s plan includes supplying 4,700 housing units just this year, where young and newlyweds can rent at cheaper rates through the supplementary budget.

The government also plans to provide more public housing units to low income households, including older adults.

On Monday, Kim made her first official field visits to Hwigyeong-dong in Dongdaemun District and Jayangdong in Gwangjin District, both in eastern Seoul. She met with young and relatively poor tenants and heard their concerns. The ministry said Kim chose such regions to show her interest in helping low-income households.

The minister reiterated that the main culprit behind the country’s housing bubble is real estate speculation, rather than a lack of homes.

“I will continue to stabilize housing market conditions for those who don’t own any home and protect people who are actually interested in living in the units that they plan to buy,” said Kim. “I plan to make visits until the housing bubble settles and will come up with further measures if the problem continues to worsen.”

The ministry added that it will announce further details about providing housing units to young Koreans through various means, including redeveloping old state-run buildings.

Meanwhile, the central bank released a report on Monday that showed the real estate market condition in the Seoul metropolitan region and Gangwon Province is recovering or booming, while it found stagnation in north and south Chungcheong, north and south Gyeongsang and Jeju Island.

The Bank of Korea surveyed 96 real estate experts from May 19 through June 7 and found the same results.

According to the study, 38.5 percent of the survey respondents said housing prices in the Seoul metropolitan region are rising due to ongoing reconstruction and redevelopment projects, while another 17.9 percent said it is because of the lack of supply, particularly due to the high demands for homes in southern Seoul.

BY KIM YOUNG-NAM [kim.youngnam@joongang.co.kr]

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