According to the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs, the average deposit fee of houses around campuses in the Seoul region is approximately 5 million won to 10 million won, and the monthly rent fee of 40 thousand won to 50 thousand won, a financially burdening sum for university students.
According to a survey conducted by Seoul YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association) on 526 university students about the potential causes of the increase in rent fees, 39 percent polled for unilateral price-consolation among the house owners.
To alleviate such financial burden, SMG initiated a group called University Student Housing Information Researchers.
This group is a solution that expands the scope of University Housing Information Sharing Project, which started in 2012. Until now, University Housing Information Sharing Project involved participation mainly from students at Sogang University, Yonsei University and Hongik University. However, due to the inadequate number of participants, not enough information was shared and the research was limited to only certain areas in Seoul.
To provide abundant information and solve the regional exclusivity problem by including opinions from other regions, SMG decided to recruit students from the entire Seoul region.
“We are at the beginning step in carrying out University Housing Information Sharing Project although it was established last year,” said Seo Sung-man, the manager of Housing Policy Office at the SMG. “We will build a firm foundation in which all of the information on student housing is actively shared through the Web site (http://www.zipnet.kr/).”
The group will consist of university students who will research rent fees as well as general information of houses around their university campus and share their research results through an online housing information sharing Web site.
By doing so, the city government hopes students in search of houses will become thoroughly informed and ultimately be able to choose an ideal place that satisfies their wants and needs to the fullest. The system will benefit students to save time and resources and may ultimately discourage house owners from monopolizing the price through price revelation.
The city government has started recruiting 200 participating members and will continue to gather participants until June 9.
The selected members will serve a term for two to three months. They will research one house at a time, including its address, street description, number of floors, structure, number of rooms, price and descriptions of the inside and outside of the house and provide pictures.
Three houses a week per semester and six houses a week during summer and winter breaks are ideal. A total of 50 houses is the minimum number the participants are required to research in a semester. At this rate, 100 students can research 20,000 houses in a year.
In order to call for active student participation, the SMG will acknowledge an hour of volunteer work for researching one house. Each participant may receive a small sum of money from their universities. A special certificate will be rewarded to an excelling volunteer.
It also plans to start campaigns to reduce rent fees when Housing Information Sharing Project builds a firm database and foundation to negotiate with the house owners in the future.