Gov‘t to offer rental houses for 160 households hit by Pohang quake

Nov 20, 2017, 08:47 am

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Shim Bo-kyun (left), Vice Minister of the Public Administration and Security, and Son Byeong-suk, Vice Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, held a joint briefing on the government's support for Pohang earthquake victims at the Government Complex in Seoul on Sunday./ Source: Yonhap News

By AsiaToday reporter Jeong Ah-reum

The South Korean government has decided to support rental housing for at 160 households, that are affected by the quake that hit the city of Pohang last Wednesday, for at least six months. Pohang will be soon designated as a special disaster zone since the amount of the damage is estimated to surpass 50 billion won.

The Ministry of Public Administration and Security and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport made such announcement at a joint briefing session on the Pohang earthquake held at the Seoul Government Complex on Sunday.

The government will provide preferential support for 160 households whose houses require precise safety inspection. The ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport has secured empty rental houses run by the state-run Korea Land & Housing Corporation (LH).

Residents who will be temporarily living in LH rental houses are required to pay 95,000 won, half the amount of monthly rental fee.

"The government noted that some 500 households in Pohang are in urgent need of housing support," Son Byeong-suk, Vice Minister of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport, said. "We are planning to provide housing support for them."

The government will extend limit of rental housing support and interest rates.

Manpower will be increased to strengthen support for safety inspection on buildings. The number of safety experts will be increased to 100 from 36.

Pohang is expected to be designated as a special disaster zone as its damages exceeded 50 billion won. A region is designated as a special disaster zone if damages exceed 9 billion won. According to the Pohang Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters, damages caused by the earthquake on Wednesday was estimated at 52.2 billion won as of Sunday. 

"In relation to the designation of a special disaster zone, the government is conducting a detailed investigation," said Shim Bo-kyun, Vice Minister of the Public Administration and Security. "We are currently in the final stage, and Pohang is expected to surpass the amount of damage."

Since the 5.4 magnitude earthquake hit Pohang on Wednesday, 56 aftershocks of magnitude 2.0 or greater have occurred as of Sunday.

#Pohang #earthquake #housing support #victims #rental houses 
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