Seoul mayor to step up efforts in building quality rental housing for low-income youth

SINGAPORE – Located steps from a metro station in central Seoul, the new Lumini apartment complex offers sleek common areas, trendy outlets and views of the iconic Seoul Tower.

Its minimalist units are outfitted with quality electronics, including Samsung’s high-end Bespoke fridge.

An ideal home like this would typically come at a high price, but the Seoul City Government provides huge subsidies to help low-income youths rent such units at a fraction of the market price, as part of its public housing policy.

Soaring house prices have been a huge issue in recent elections, pushing voters to vote against the ineffective housing policies of the past.

Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon, who won a by-election last year as an opposition candidate, acknowledged that many young people are unable to buy homes due to high oil prices. real estate and unaffordable bank loans.

“This is perhaps the biggest grievance of young people in Korea,” he told the Straits Times in Seoul ahead of his current visit to Singapore to attend the World Cities Summit. His five-day tour ends on August 2.

“So many people in their 20s and 30s are complaining that the system isn’t fair. They’ve become discouraged because their hard work isn’t being rewarded…That’s why we develop and implement policies who support young people.

The top priority, he said, is to increase the supply of low-cost public rental housing for this group.

Mr Oh, who pledged to make Seoul a “city of hope” for young people last year, announced a five-year plan in March to invest 6.3 trillion won ($6.7 billion). Singapore dollars) in 50 youth support projects, in areas such as employment and housing.

Young people between the ages of 19 and 39 represent 30% of the city’s 9.5 million inhabitants.

Around 471,000 of them live in social housing, from studios to two-bedroom units.

Nearly 36,000 social housing units were built in 2020 and 2021, and the city plans to provide another 55,000 by 2025.

The city is also focusing on improving the image and quality of social housing, said Mr Oh, who won re-election in June in municipal elections.

Instead of building small, cheap units for the extremely poor, the city now plans to build larger ones using quality materials suitable for the middle class, as they widen the pool of applicants to young and old. newly weds.

Comments are closed.