SEOUL, Sept. 11 (Korea Bizwire) – A guidebook outlining ten major points to counter gentrification has been released by a group of young South Koreans in an effort to help small business owners.
Going into detail, the book lists a number of the most prevalent behavior patterns of landlords before independent business owners fall victim to gentrification, such as ‘using remodeling as an excuse to kick tenants out’, while providing a checklist to prevent further damage.
The guidebook consisting of useful information for independent business owners put together by a group of four South Koreans including Goo Bon-gi, Jung Hyun-seok, Kim Bo-min and Bang Jeong-in, is the country’s very first counter-gentrification guide, according to the group that wrote the book.
Goo, who participated in the making of the guidebook, says that despite the fact that there are many ways landlords can evict tenants, the guidebook explores legal loopholes which can be used by business owners to protect themselves.
Adding to the authenticity of the guidebook is Bang’s personal experience of gentrification in the past, with his former landlord raising the rental price of his studio by 70 percent.
Recalling the experience, Bang said he felt like society is like a jungle, yet he found ways to survive the situation.
Speaking with Yonhap News Agency at a café in Hongdae on Sunday, the group of writers further explained how the idea of writing a book to counteract gentrification came about.
“As most business owners who pay commercial rent aren’t fully aware of the law and are too busy to study, we came up with a simple guidebook for them to look at,” the group said, describing why they chose to write the country’s first counter-gentrification guidebook.
“With the growing interest in gentrification in recent years, local governments are passing ordinances. However, a great number of small business owners are getting evicted without getting actual help.
“Ordinances don’t hold legal power over landlords, and we wanted to explain the laws for protection of commercial building tenants in a simple manner,” said the group, which consists of a researcher, a publisher, an editor and a designer.
The counter-gentrification guidebook is set to be revealed on Thursday at Seogyo Arts Experiment Center, with plans to publish another manual on counteracting gentrification in residential areas.
Hyunsu Yim (firstname.lastname@example.org)