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Gov't, Seoul city form task force for supply of public housing

All News 17:32 August 10, 2020

SEOUL, Aug. 10 (Yonhap) -- The central and the Seoul city governments will work together to provide more public housing in the capital and adjacent areas, the transport ministry said Monday.

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and the Seoul Metropolitan Government have formed a task force to explore aged residential buildings that can be reconstructed to supply more public housing to the underprivileged, the ministry said in a statement.

The move is in line with the government's plan to supply 132,000 housing units in Seoul and its neighboring areas by 2028 by easing regulations for reconstruction of aged apartments, which centers on allowing up to 50 floors for redeveloped residential buildings, far higher than the current limit of 35 floors.

This photo taken on July 15, 2020, shows high-rise apartment buildings in the southeastern Seoul ward of Songpa (Yonhap)

The plan, unveiled last week, will allow state-run companies, such as the Korea Land & Housing Corp. (LH) and the Seoul Housing & Communities Corp. (SH), to carry out apartment rebuilding projects to supply public housing.

But the projects have drawn lukewarm responses from owners of apartment complexes because they do not bring expected gains from the reconstruction of the complexes.

The government said it will determine the first candidate buildings in the greater Seoul area as quickly as possible to proceed with the home supply plan.

The Aug. 4 measures follow dozens of previous ones under the Moon Jae-in administration in the past three years to stabilize housing prices. But the past measures fell short of having brought rising housing prices under control.

Experts and analysts said the new supply plan won't have an immediate effect on the market as it will take at least three to five years before the proposed homes will be ready for the people in need.

They said it will be possible to provide more public housing through redevelopment of areas with smaller residences, instead of reconstructing existing apartment complexes.

With the presale price cap for newly built apartments and the system to retrieve excessive gains from the reconstruction already a headache for them, residents do not want SH and LH take the lead in their apartment reconstruction projects due to lack of returns, Kwon Dae-jung, a professor in the department of real estate at Myungji University, said.

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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