Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon, celebrating one year in office, said the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) will keep step with the new government by maintaining supply policies while curbing real estate prices.
Mayor Oh said at a news conference on April 12, “SMG has prepared elaborate methods to supply a quantity as much as possible, but not stimulate the real estate market.”
Mayor Oh said he concurred with the presidential transition committee and Minister-designate Won Hee-ryong of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT).
Pundits inside and outside SMG said Mayor Oh virtually revealed his bid for reelection for a fourth time. Mayor Oh was recently nominated to run for mayor by the People Power Party (PPP).
Noteworthy among Mayor Oh’s announcements is his plan to diversify housing policies suiting strata.
SMG plans to supply newly built units for those in mid-level brackets or higher through constructing and redevelopment, while trying to supply so-called half-priced apartments to non-housing owners.
If non-housing owners are supplied units at relatively lower prices, Mayor Oh said they would have wider opportunities to manage assets through housing stabilization.
Mayor Oh has focused on policies to expand the housing supply after he was elected in a by-election in April 2021.
As for SMG’s housing policy, some pundits expressed worry about the overconcentration of the Seoul metropolitan area.
The supply policy is essential since Seoul’s population has trends of focusing on one- or two-member households, rather than three- or four-member ones, and almost no redevelopment districts have been designated for the past seven years.
Mayor Oh disclosed a plan to relax a cap on the height of structures as Cheong Wa Dae is to move to Yongsan. A new green concept, the step is designed to allow urban high-density redevelopment.
“If restrictions on height are relaxed and floor area ration is maxed out, it will bring about more contribution of parts of land to public interests,” he said.
The private sector’s contribution to redevelopment districts in the public interest will be converted into green areas, Mayor Oh said.
A new green ecosystem concept project will be announced, he said. His vision involves a city in which building woods coexist with tree woods. As for the physically disabled persons’ rights to move, Mayor Oh said SMG will work out effective ways of protecting the rights.
The physically disabled persons’ rights to move has become the subject of attention as they had conducted protests at subways at rush hours.
He also talked about a plan to expand services to support the disabled person’ activities after they are discharged from group accommodation facilities.
Mayor Oh’s plan may be construed as SMG’s to ramp up management of the post-group accommodation facility life.
Currently, SMG’s pilot project to strengthen management of the post-group accommodation facility life is moving the disabled from group accommodation facilities to homes for supporting the disabled.
As for the pros and cons of President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol’s pledge to disband the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family, Mayor Oh said SMG has completed preparatory work related to the matter.
In a reorganization conducted last year, SMG changed the Women’s Rights Protection Division and the Women’s Policy Division into the Rights Protection Division and the Gender Equality Policy Division, respectively.
As for his refusal to dispose of blind trust stocks that resurfaced after the latest disclosure of high-level office holders’ assets, Mayor Oh revealed his plan to sell them to remove the misunderstanding related to the matter.