National Meeting of Residents in Public Apartment Zones A year anniversary meeting

강진성 기자l승인2020.02.24







What do the meeting demand the government?
-Protection of property rights
-Reduced transfer income tax on forced acquisition
-Market price must be reflected
-Substantial compensation
-Relocation of residents
-Rescission of the third new town

The National Meeting of Residents in Public Apartment Zones and the representatives of the third new town zones gathered together for one year anniversary meeting of the union on January 15, 2020. 

For the last one year, the members of the union led open air meetings in front of the Blue House, National Assembly, and Seoul Government Complex to express their unhappiness. 

They also visited the Constitutional Court of Korea, Citizen’s Coalition for Economic Justice, and National Assembly Land and Transportation Committee to demand rescission of public apartment development and the new town plans as well as reduced transfer income tax on forced acquisition.

Host: Jeongwon Baek, editor of monthly <PowerKorea>
Panels: Chaegwan Im, leader of the union
       Chulho Suk, deputy leader of the union
       Byeongchan Lee, deputy leader of the union
       Gwangseo Park, representative of the residents in Wangsook 2 zone
       Daesuk Gong, representative of the residents in Jinjeop
       Jinyup Jang, representative of the residents in Changleung

Baek: What have you done for the last 1 year?

Im: We visited various responsible government offices and demanded rescission of public housing development and the new town plans as well as reduced transfer income tax on forced acquisition. 

Suk: We worked on revise of the Special Tax Treatment Control Law in an effort to reduce transfer income tax and land supply price and to improve the irrational LH regulations. 

Lee: I belong to Eocheon in Hwaseong City. I and the residents currently have piled a lawsuit against the responsible office at the Seoul Administrative Court. The 5th defense of the first trial is scheduled on March 27. The residents in the zone have been unhappy about the 50 years of greenbelt and it is not right that the government pushes forward forced acquisition without even asking opinions of residents.

Park: The residents have lived there for 50 years under development restrictions. The government’s forced acquisition is an act of ignoring the consent of land owners and it is an act of killing them twice. 

Gong: I’m from Jinjeop area. Residents there have demanded expansion of supply for a long time. The government needs to bring up measures to relocate the residents who have lived in non-residential buildings for smooth settlement. 

Jang: Without consent of the residents, the government designated an 8,132,231 square meter land in Changleung as a third new town on May 7, 2019. It is absurd that the government forced residents to sell their lands at dirt cheap price under the cause of public services based on the current Land Compensation Act. It is ridiculous still that the forced land sellers even have to pay half the money as transfer income tax. 

Baek: I think surveys on land price and the details of land compensation are important.

Im: That’s right. Transparent surveys on land price and due compensation is a must. The problem is that the Land Compensation Act article 17 limits the discretionary power of surveyors as it imposes reevaluation if the highest price exceeds the lowest price by 110%. Therefore, this irrational article must be revised. It is notable that the LH also recently revised the regulations and increased sharply the land exchange supply price which resulted in minimized compensation. The LH also prevents residents from piling redemption of rights against it. 

Suk: It is deplorable that the government is making profits by forced acquisition of land from residents. We will keep fighting to make an example so that it never happens again to our offspring. 

Lee: The LH brought up a plan of redevelopment of Eocheon in Hwaseong City and it has been approved by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. We are absolutely not happy about this and even the city has demanded both LH and the ministry that it would rather damage the residents and also the environment. But without an explanation, they are just pushing forward their plan. 

Park: The government has duty to protect life and properties of the people. The Moon Administration constantly has emphasized equality, fairness and justice. But I must ask that where are these equality, fairness and justice?

Gong: There are residents who lived in huts because the land is tied with greenbelt. If the government is to develop the land, the land for relocation must be provided to them and also to those who could not help but altering the purpose of use. 

Jang: The residents in Changleung demand exemption of transfer income tax and revise of the Special Tax Treatment Control Law article 133. The government must stop asking sacrifice of the residents in the name of public services but provide rational compensation first. 

Baek: What are your opinions on land exchange compensation?

Im: It must be expanded. The government must bring up measure for compensation. 

Suk: The government is compensating dirt cheap price for forced acquisition while putting the highest price in land exchange compensation which is ridiculous. If the price is made based on construction cost, this ongoing conflict can be settled by sharing the development profits. 

Park: The KDI reported that the South Korea’s diffusion ratio of house is 106%. Why then does the house price in Seoul keep rising? It’s because the government’s wrong real estate policy especially the real estate rental regulation on which a person can own hundreds of houses with tax benefits. So the government needs to put a knife on that first.

Lee: I just can’t help feeling that the government seems not to care much about reasonable compensation. 

Gong: The current government policy makes it difficult for residents to be relocated with either land exchange compensation or public apartment. 

Jang: The land owners in Changleung demand an ownership of developed apartment. Also the relocated residents must freely use up to third floors of buildings for commercial purposes. 

Baek: What are your plans this year?

Im: I will carry on what we have demanded for the last year with continuous complaints and discussions at the same time. 

Suk and Lee: We will keep fighting until the responsible organizations bring up reasonable measures. 

Park: I think the government’s third new town plan must be stopped. They are challenged by more serious problems than this such as low birth rate, more aged members of society and especially the slow economic growth rate. 

Gong: I and the residents will keep demanding measures for relocation.

Jang: I hope the government takes opinions of the residents seriously and speedily bring up measures for compensation and a revise of irrational regulations and laws. 

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