SH CEO nominee steps down following criticism of multiple homesSeoul Housing and Communities Corporations (SH) CEO nominee Kim Hyun-ah voluntarily renounced her nomination on Sunday.
"I give up the SH CEO nomination," Kim posted on her Facebook page on Sunday. "I apologize to all those who supported or criticized me."
During the Seoul Metropolitan Council's confirmation hearing on July 27, Kim faced questions over her family's ownership of four properties.
"Considering my age, it was easier to own a house," Kim said at the hearing. "I had sort of a generational advantage. Housing prices increased and so my assets also increased."
Some council members affiliated with the ruling Democratic Party questioned how Kim can consider herself a regular citizen if she owns a house in the affluent area of Gangnam, southern Seoul, even though she once said that a regular citizen cannot buy a house in Gangnam.
The Moon Jae-in administration adopted a policy of not appointing multi-home owners as high-ranking governmental officials and heads of public organizations in 2019.
The council on July 28 adopted a confirmation hearing report that decided that Kim was unqualified to take over as CEO of SH.
"It is not appropriate for a multi-home owner to serve as leader in a public corporation where they have to implement housing welfare and public housing supplies for the working class," the council stated.
Kim and her husband jointly own two properties, an apartment in Cheongdam-dong in Gangnam District and a shopping unit in Jamwon-dong in Seocho District, southern Seoul. Her husband owns an apartment and a studio apartment, both in Busan.
Kim attempted to clarify herself two days after the confirmation hearing, saying, "I did not clearly express my intentions. The apartment in Seoul, which my husband and I jointly own, and my husband's apartment in Busan are residences. The studio apartment in Busan is for my husband's work."
Kim said that she will sell the Busan apartment and studio as soon as possible, but criticism continued.
Kim was nominated as CEO of SH by Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon on July 15. A Ph.D. graduate who specialized in urban planning, Kim is said to be an expert in the area.
Kim is also a former conservative party lawmaker from 2006 to 2020. She is known for her criticism of the current government's housing policies.
BY KO SUK-HYUN, LEE JIAN [firstname.lastname@example.org]