South Korean Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said on Thursday when new elect Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon of the main opposition People Power Party (PPP) took office, “A municipal government alone is not able to take charge of housing supplies,” keeping in mind that Mayor Oh showed his determinations to lessen regulations on urban redevelopment led by the private sector. It is expected that the central government and Seoul City will get involved in a tug-of-war over the current real estate policies.
Minister Hong presided over a ministerial meeting to check the housing market on Thursday at the Government Complex in central Seoul, stating that both the ruling party and the opposition share the common goals of stabilizing the housing market and providing stability to working-class citizens. Hong added that both sides on the political spectrum churned out pledges to lessen real estate regulations that have little consistency with the existing ones as the mayoral by-elections neared them, implying that little change will be made to the administration’s policy note.
Minister Hong said, “Housing supplies require a series of administrative steps to be taken from candidate region selection to zone designation to deliberation and approval. Mutual cooperation is supposed to be a prerequisite,” adding that he hopes for stronger cooperation. He seemingly intended to nip in the bud people’s expectations that public-led development and other existing government policies may be shaken to get regulations on private-led urban development looser.
Asked on Mr. Oh’s first day as Seoul mayor if he could resolve urban redevelopment and reconstruction issues within a week, he answered with a clenched fist, “Determined.” The new mayor had mentioned during his mayoral election campaign that he would initiate safety inspections on major redevelopment complexes within one week after he takes office, and Mayor Oh expressed his determination to expedite the expansion of housing supplies via private sector redevelopment and reconstruction.
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