Eight Blue House aides still own multiple homes
Eight senior Blue House aides still own more than one home, the Blue House said Friday.
According to Senior Presidential Secretary for Public Affairs Yoon Do-han, eight presidential aides owned multiple properties as of Friday, which was supposed to be the deadline for Blue House officials to sell any second homes.
Presidential aides' properties have become an embarrassment to the administration, which is trying to crack down on real estate speculation and profiteering to cool prices.
Since December, Presidential Chief of Staff Noh Young-min stressed the importance of Blue House officials setting an example of the government’s sincerity in its real estate policy. In his latest warning on July 2, Noh gave officials until the end of July to sell all properties except for one.
“As of now, eight senior secretaries and secretaries own multiple homes,” Yoon said Friday. “All of them promised to sell any second homes, and they are currently working on it.”
The eight officials, according to a senior presidential aide, are Senior Secretary for Civil Affairs Kim Jo-won, Senior Secretary for Social Affairs Kim Geo-Sung, Senior Secretary for Job Creation Hwang Deok-soon, Senior Secretary for Personnel Management Kim Oe-sook, Presidential Secretary for Public Information Yeo Hyeon-ho, Secretary for Foreign Press Lee Ji-soo, Secretary for Civil Service Discipline Lee Nam-gu and Secretary for SMEs and Startups Seok Jong-hoon.
“They are trying to sell their properties, but deals are yet to be closed,” the official said. “They were ordered to submit copies of contracts no later than next month.”
The Blue House has taken heat as its top officials continue to hold onto lucrative real estate, despite Moon’s policy to impose tax penalties and loan restrictions on multiple homeowners to tame the market.
Moon replaced some secretaries on the presidential team last week in an apparent response to public disgust. Three of the four secretaries replaced on July 24 were owners of multiple properties.
BY SER MYO-JA [email@example.com]