Housing supply

Landlords strongly protest housing supply policy















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Landlords strongly protest housing supply policy

A huge banner opposing a government plan to increase the supply of apartments in the area hangs on the facade of a building in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi province, in this file photo taken earlier This year.  Korea Times photo by Lim Myoung-soo
A huge banner opposing a government plan to increase the supply of apartments in the area hangs on the facade of a building in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi province, in this file photo taken earlier This year. Korea Times photo by Lim Myoung-soo


By Yoon Ja-young

The government’s plan to build new apartments on state-owned land to stabilize house prices is facing fierce opposition from neighboring landlords. Some of them are even trying to recall their mayors for “not having done enough to stop the plan”. While the government has succumbed to their pressure and abandoned hastily drawn plans, the situation raises fears that its creation of a supply-side policy will not work and that the housing crisis in the capital will persist.

The government and the ruling liberal Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) recently scrapped a plan to build 4,000 housing units on government-owned land at a government compound in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi province. According to the plan, announced on August 4, 2020, about half of the new housing was to be public rental housing. As Gwacheon is close to Seoul and has good infrastructure surrounded by natural landscapes and landscaping, the plan has caught the attention of those looking for homes.

The plan’s abandonment follows a campaign by a group of Gwacheon residents to recall their mayor, Kim Jong-cheon. They say Kim, who belongs to the ruling party, has not done enough to stop the implementation of the policy in their city. They say they will proceed with the recall vote because they oppose the plan. Kim, currently suspended from office, will permanently lose the mayorship if residents uphold the recall in a vote scheduled for June 30.

Landlords there fear that the massive increase in housing supply will lead to a lack of infrastructure and traffic congestion, leading to a drop in the value of their apartments, in an area where housing prices are as high as the upscale neighborhoods in Seoul. Recently, an 84 square meter unit in the Gwacheon Prugio Summit apartment complex sold for 2 billion won ($1.79 million). Residents are demanding that the government build a park on the proposed site instead of more apartments.

“Residents often become NIMBYs (“not in my yard”). They don’t want development in their neighborhood. The government cannot constantly listen to all residents’ voices regarding its development plans, but this time it had no communication with residents,” said Kwon Dae-jung, a professor of real estate at the university. from Myongji.

The government suddenly announced the plan last August, following a series of failed housing market stabilization policies centered on higher taxes and mortgage restrictions. This time, the government has focused on increasing housing supply, pledging to build 33,000 new homes on government-owned land, including Gwacheon Government Complex, Taereung Country Club and Yongsan. Camp Kim.

Initially, the government issued the development plan unilaterally, without asking residents for their opinion. When locals later objected, the government canceled the plan, which Kwon said set a bad precedent.

“Once the government announces the housing supply plans, it shouldn’t just drop them,” Kwon said, “Now other areas will also want to cancel the plans in their areas. This Gwacheon case will continue to ‘to be a stumbling block for future government projects.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government also recently asked the central government to reconsider plans to build 10,000 apartments on land at Taereung Country Club, owned by the Defense Ministry, in the Nowon district. Plans to massively increase the supply of new apartments in other areas of Seoul, such as Mapo and Yongsan, are also facing fierce opposition from residents.

“Residents cite traffic congestion, environmental destruction and a shortage of schools when they oppose plans to increase the supply of housing in their neighborhoods. (From the start,) the government should have persuade locals to accept notions of coexistence and community,” Kwon said. argued.