SEOUL, March 24 (Korea Bizwire) – The Seoul Metropolitan Government will provide a large quantity of public rental housing so that young city dwellers will not be forced to move to suburbs due to high rent.
Seoul announced its ‘2030 Station Area Housing Plan’ on March 23. Starting with a pilot at Chungjeongno and Bonghwasan stations in July, the project is expected to be realized as early as the first half of next year.
To attract participation from private business, the floor area ratio will be raised to 800 percent. Accreditation will take only six months, as the city plans to go through the business process on its own. The city is also planning to provide financial support, such as tax benefits.
Station areas that were previously labeled as ‘second/third general residential areas’ will be upgraded to ‘quasi-residential areas’ or ‘commercial areas’. The floor area ratio will be increased by 550 percentage points (250 percent to 800 percent) at the most if land is donated.
Private businesses are required to fill the residential area with quasi-public rental houses. Small-sized public rental houses under the size of 45 square meters should be built on 10 to 25 percent of the land.
The small-sized public rental houses cost between 60 and 80 percent of typical prices in surrounding areas, and will be provided to young people between the ages of 20 and 39.
Since young people use public transportation to commute, living in rental houses near subway stations should make their lives more comfortable. The city expects the supply of the houses to help stabilize rents in Seoul.
However, the system will be temporarily operated for three years to prevent land prices from rising when no actual development is conducted.
Seoul expects that 210,000 houses under the size of 36 square meters will be built if 30 percent of the potential areas are developed. Authorities hope that among the total number of small-sized houses to be built, 40,000 public rental houses will be provided for young people.
City officials explain that they took the extreme measure of re-zoning ‘residential areas’ to ‘commercial areas’ due to a rapid increase in the number of ‘house poor’ people. They anticipate that by relocating young people to station areas, downtown hollowing-out can be prevented, and nighttime activities boosted, helping out the local economy.
By M.H.Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)