“I sometimes feel like I want to live independently.” “What is the biggest obstacle to living independently?” “It is a matter of economics.” “That is right. In fact, the economic problem is the biggest problem for college students to be independent.”
Recently, when I saw a poster titled “Youth Housing Rally Planning Group” posted all over the school walls, my consultation content that I had lately, came to my mind. Actually, I have never seriously considered the issue of youth housing because I live with my parents. Even though I thought the price of the room was expensive, but I did not think it was a big problem in this society. No one is surprised when they use a hundred million units to talk about their house or a thousand units to talk about their car. The expensive price of the house or the car is like an “original” convention. I thought the same was conform of the room.
However, seeing the posters on it made me think for the first time that expensive room prices could be a problem. I know well from my parents that even if I want to be independent, I cannot even start until I get a job. Meanwhile, if people who are not favorable of economic-related circumstances live on their own due to unavoidable circumstances, they live in a semi-basement, rooftop house on the sixth floor, which has no elevator. Are these images that I thought were natural really acceptable?
According to what is written on the protest posters, the OECD recommends that housing costs do not exceed 20 percent of living costs. On the other hand, housing costs account for more than half of the total living expenses of young people living alone in Korea. In this reality, most people rely on their parents’ economic power. However, those who need to earn their own income will have to spend most of their time on a part-time job, in addition to studying.
Of course, using campus dormitories would be relatively inexpensive, but not all students can use campus dormitories. Other than that, the school operates as a school annex in other places, but it is not very widely used. Currently, most of the residential policies for young and newlyweds are focused on newlyweds, according to the civic group “Min Snail Union.” In fact, the system for newlyweds to set up their newlywed homes seems to be taking their own place. However, when young people who have to live by themselves find their own homes, they have never been told that “it is still easy because of the guaranteed benefits from government’s policy.”
Thinking about this issue, I hope there will be many cost-effectiveness residential facilities exclusively used for young people. That is, it is similar to youth hostels that offer cheap accommodation for teenagers, but not for tourists or teenagers. There will be facilities for young people who are responsible to their life living alone. That is, it could be a space that can be the second best option for young people who cannot use dormitories in school. Although the area is rather narrow and the kitchen should be shared, would not it be possible to guarantee young people’s housing rights, if there were at least a lot of facilities that guarantee safety and privacy? I hope that such a day will come someday.
Lee Seung-min firstname.lastname@example.org
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