Hongje Happy Dormitory, a project led by KFPP and Ministry of Education (MOE), is the first dormitory to be constructed with public fund in Korea. The project was planned to improve housing conditions and reduce college housing costs. The land was provided by MOE and Seodaemun-gu for free.
There are two types of happy dormitory: public and unity. Public dormitory is jointly supported by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT) and KFPP to improve housing conditions for students from local origins, or from low-income families. On the other hand, unity dormitory is constructed with public fund from National & Public Land Property, private foundation universities and public institutions.
“Hongje Happy Dormitory has been catered largely to reduce students’ financial housing burden by offering residential housing at a relatively low price,” said an official of KFPP. “The maximum monthly dorm fee is 190,000 won, which is more than 100,000 won lower than the local fee.”
The new dormitory accommodates 516 students in 427 rooms. It is a seven-story building located in Hongje-dong, western Seoul. The housing complex offers single, double and quad rooms, and it also features amenities, including a fitness room and a cafe. Hongje Happy Dormitory only receives students who are currently enrolled in one of the 13 universities in Seoul, including Ewha Womans University, Yonsei University and Sogang University, that signed the contract for this housing.
A total of 685 students applied for residence, and among them, 70 were admitted from regular admission and 446 were admitted from recommended admission.
“Hongje Happy Dormitory gives students some breathing space from soaring room costs and tuition fee,” Lee Ji-min (Chinese, 2) said. “I think it is a great opportunity to all students who are interested should not hesitate to apply. Unfortunately, I missed the application deadline this year but I plan to apply next time, hoping I will be one of the residents of the dormitory.”
By 2017, the government will invest a total of two trillion won in residential housing. It also plans to build more dormitories in private universities and happy dormitories on public land that can accept an addition of 8,000 students, which will accommodate up to 40,000 students.
Currently, Hongje Happy Dormitory is making programs for students to volunteer in nearby orphanages and building shared spaces to provide an enjoyable community for neighbors.
“Although the contract agreement is a one-year lease, Hongje Happy Dormitory has gained such popularity, and the dorm admission rate is expected to further increase for next year,” the official said.