The South Korean government and the ruling Minjoo Party of Korea reverted an urban development plan to build 4,000 housing units in an idle site for the Government Complex-Gwacheon as part of its real estate policy package released on August 4 last year, agreeing to find another candidate site within Gwacheon City. As they changed the housing supply policy due to public opposition in the city area, concerns arise that housing supply projects may see some disruption in other metropolitan areas where public resistance prevails.
A trilateral meeting was held in the National Assembly on Friday among the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, the ruling party and the Gwacheon city government to reach agreement on the city authorities’ revised plan. “We propose to designate the existing development project sites such as the Gwacheon district, which is currently in progress, as new housing lots, rather than supplying more new units nearby the Gwacheon government complex,” said Gwacheon Mayor Kim Jong-cheon. As per the city’s proposal, the administration and the ruling party agreed to build 3,000 units in the Gwacheon area and 1,300 units in other areas.
Strong public opposition has been accountable to the reverted decision of the administration-ruling party leadership to consider another housing site. As government buildings were relocated to Sejong City, the government announced to build apartment complexes in idle land near the old government complex, Gwacheon residents demanded basic amenities for conveniences such as green parks. Public opposition in Gwacheon led to a consensus on a public recall vote on Mayor Kim. With the vote scheduled late this month or early next month, the administration and the ruling party took a step backward by changing the project sites.
As the government-led housing supply plan has been canceled for the first time by public opposition in the Seoul metropolitan area, it is likely that other development candidates may follow into the steps of Gwacheon. This may deal a critical blow to President Moon Jae-in’s real estate policy to supply houses in large quantities over his remaining term.
The government has already been met with strong public opposition due to its plans to build apartment complexes in sites of Taereung Country Club in Nowon District, the Regional Public Procurement Service in Seocho District, the Korea National Diplomatic Academy, Seobu Driver's License Examination Office and Digital Medial City in Mapo, etc. “As we have alternative sites in mind for Gwacheon, it will be possible to supply a proposed volume of housing,” said a ruling party member. “However, development projects may slow down in other areas where things are harsh on us.”
Hye-Ryung Choi firstname.lastname@example.org