Seoul Metropolitan Government announced an amended “Youth Allowance” policy that will be initiated from 2020. There are two key changes: increasing the number of beneficiaries that can be supported by the policy and providing monthly rental fees for the youth.
The requirements for the application and the amount of the allowance will remain the same as before. Anyone aged from 19 to 34 years who has been unemployed for over two years after they have graduated can apply for the program. Additionally, they should be residing in Seoul with below 150 percent of median income. The allowance will be given for six months with a total of 500,000 won.
Before the amendment, the city government selectively chose the beneficiaries among the unemployed who met the required age and income status. However, starting 2020, any unemployed youth who graduates from university and also meets the income condition set by the government can make a request for this new youth allowance.
The goal of this policy is to subsidize youths who are seeking jobs for up to six months through funds. It was announced that a total of 500,000 won per month will be provided. This new plan is estimated to support 100,000 people per year for the next three years. According to a public statement made by Seoul Metropolitan Government, every unemployed youth in the city who needs financial support to pursue jobs in the future can receive subsidies at least once in their lives.
The government will also provide youths aged 19 to 39 who live alone and find it burdensome to pay high rental expenses with financial aid to pay off the monthly rentals. The recipients will be given 200,000 won per month for 10 months. According to the city government, this plan aims to support a total of 45,000 beneficiaries between 2021 and 2022.
In addition to the renewed policies, different districts in Seoul held free open lectures to give advice to people on housing. Seodaemun-gu’s Department of Urban Revitalization hosted a program that helps youth learn about housing contracts and cautions when renting a house.
A three-day trial program was held on Nov. 11, 20, and 28 respectively, where lecturers from “Minsnail Union” came to speak about the aforementioned topics. “Minsnail Union” is an organization which helps prospective and current tenants by providing consultations from housing experts. For this program, Policy Director Kim Kyung-seo explained the importance of learning how to understand building registers and register copies.
“Tenants need to be aware of legal documents so that one can receive their deposits even if the house may go into auction,” Kim said. “When you move into a new home, it is very important that you report a moving-in notification. From the moment you report, you will gain the right to the property even when a leaseholder sells the house to a different tenant regardless of your current contract.”
After the lecture, Program Director Jung Yong-chan started a discussion activity. The participants could ask any questions they had and also read house contracts together while Jung pointed out the cautions.
The participants who finished the three-trial program were given certificates at the end. Lee Ji-soo, a university student who joined the program, expressed her thoughts on these organized events by the government.
“It would have been better if they gave us an organized list for prospective tenants to refer to and keep note of the important contents,” Lee said. “All in all, the programs were informative as they emphasized the points we needed to be alert about when finding a house.”