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Taipei City Government Steadily Achieves Housing Justice

Since the inauguration of Mayor Ko in 2015, 20,000 sites for public housing has been checked, 4-year construction and fund-raising plan have also been scheduled. Taipei City Government made many corresponding projects to acquire the land for 20,000 public housing and put in cost of capital. It is assured that Taipei City Government will not leave the debt to our posterity or edge out other budget.
In the budget review process, City Council resolved that Taipei City Government should communicate with local citizens properly in 2015. There were 35 public housing public hearings and explanation sessions held at the neighborhood of each site since February 2016. Nevertheless, there is a common stereotype for bad quality of rented public housing. Local citizens tend to against the project due to the impact of traffic and the reduction of quality of public facilities by introducing large number of population, which makes it even harder.
After careful consideration for the feeling of residents and actual traffic problems, parts of sites reduce household number in response to current capacity, parts of them put off schedule for development and parts of them need to communicate with residents again. Thus, 20,000 public housing cannot go into operation before 2018. It is estimated there will be 12,247 households completed or under construction (Category 1 and category 2) by the end of 2018. All the efforts were attributed to the staff in Department of Urban Development. Public housing policy should be continued; nevertheless, it takes 2 to 4 years from design to complete. Taipei City Government should assure enough number of public housing, the duration of completion and the highest living quality (smart, economy, seismic and barrier free). There is no so called “unable to fulfill promise”.
“Ming-lun public housing in Datong District” and “Qiyan public housing in Beitou district” have commenced March and May this year. “Youth Camp public housing in Wanhua District” will commence by the end of June in succession. 28 sites will begin construction by the end of 2018. It shows that Taipei City Government sets a reasonable goal, conforms to budget under rules and respects public opinions to keep to the working routine. The number of completion only shows the parts of the effort of staff and will not cause zero achievement for the succession Mayor 8 years later. The resolution and promise of building 20,000 public housing has not changed.
Furthermore, Taipei City Government provides rent subsidy for tenants to improve the rental ability of citizens. Taipei City Government has strived for the number of household subsidy, expenses and the restriction for rental housing to central government since the “Rent Subsidy Policy” released by Ministry of Interior, R.O.C. in 2012. The subsidized household increased from 6,739 to 8,939 from year 2012 to 2016, which released the burden of Taipei tenants. After the revision of Housing Act this January, the subsidy policy has been categorized. To not reduce the existing benefit and proceed under current framework of rules, Department of Social Welfare and Department of Urban Development abide by three principles, reasonable pay, most suitable living space and household number, and take the lead to set up the standard for rent subsidy. With this policy, the under privileged family may rent a proper house and live satisfactorily in Taipei. Moreover, Taipei City Government cooperates with Central Government, proposes an escrow subletting scheme. Through the subsidy and encouragement of Central Government, professional estate agents are encouraged to put in the business. On the one hand, the agent can help landlord to fix the house, escrow and sublet the house; on the other hand, under privileged tenants can find a suitable house to solve the current difficulties on renting a proper house. Many inquiries from landlords since the policy announced in the beginning of this year. Taipei City Government makes effort to ask budget from central Government, it is expected to launch officially in August 2017. Taipei City Government will keep putting efforts with multiple policies to assist Taipei citizens live affordably.