SEOUL, Feb.16 (Korea Bizwire) – According to Seoul Shinmun, a Korean daily newspaper, residents of a public housing apartment complex in the Gangnam district have decided to change its name. The new name has not been decided on yet, but one thing for sure is that the ‘LH’ included in the current name will disappear. ‘LH’ stands for Korea Land and Housing Corporation, meaning that the apartment is a public housing project. More than 70 percent of the residents have agreed to the name change.
Residents are hoping to change the complex’s name to prevent their children from suffering the stigma of being a ‘child of a poor household’. Some residents comment that the children who live in the apartment complex were made fun of by other students at school for living in ‘a beggar’s apartment’.
Other residents who have the same concerns agreed to change the complex’s name. They expressed that it is heartbreaking to watch children being left out because of where they live.
Some observers see the name change efforts as an attempt to boost real estate values. However, since the real estate market already knows that the buildings are part of a public housing complex, prices are likely to be unaffected even with the name change.
The process of changing an apartment complex’s name is more complicated than thought. More than 75 percent of the residents have to agree on the matter, and documents requesting the change must be filed at the local district office. In addition, there are limitations when it comes to choosing a new name. According to a precedent from Seoul District Court in 2007, the new name should not cause confusion with nearby apartments, and should not hinder the rights and benefits of others.
The current price of a 116.19 square meter apartment in the complex ranges from 610 million to 680 million won. Since it is a public housing complex, prices are around 20 million won lower than other buildings in the area, but it is definitely not a cheap apartment.
Whether the name change will help solve the problem of discrimination has yet to be determined, but the fact that the issue was raised in the first place is still food for thought.
By Francine Jung (email@example.com)