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A Study on the Key Issues and Policy Direction of Apartment Remodeling Projects in Seoul

Da-Mi Maeng · Inhee Kim · Ja Yun Heo · Bokyung Lee · Jaewuk Lim

The apartment remodeling project is a method of restraining the aging of a building or repairing a part of it to enhance the functionality. Remodeling project was introduced in order to improve the residential environment and the performance of existing old houses and facilitate the utilization of resources efficiently. In December 2013, based on the revision of the Housing Act, vertical enlargement and remodeling with an increase in the number of households were allowed to revitalize the remodeling business. Additionally, mitigation plays a positive role in promoting the remodeling, but it is expected to have adverse effects on the residential environment and infrastructure, such as increased density due to the increase in the number of households.
The analysis on the actual condition of remodeling projects indicated that most projects were carried out in aged, small-sized, and high-density apartment complexes. It was promoted more in areas where business feasibility was guaranteed with high costs. However, there is lack of connectivity with urban management system for a project based on the Housing Act. Moreover, with the introduction of the vertical expansion remodeling type, the number of households has increased and the implementation process has become complicated thus resulting in delays.
Considering how the specificity of remodeling projects are different from the new construction, remodeling project is incorporated into the city management system while taking into consideration the publicness of the urban space, the compatibility with the urban management system, the quality level of the residential environment, and the equity with other similar projects. This facilitates the improvement of the housing environment of deteriorated, high-rise apartment complexes and manages the negative effects of increasing the number of households or vertical expansion. To this end, it is necessary to improve related laws such as the Housing Act, reorganize the Seoul City Remodeling Master Plan, and maintain related administrative procedures. 
Remodeling projects are mainly promoted in areas with high business potential in accordance with market logic. However, some small old densely populated apartment complexes are in need of remodeling in order to improve the residential environment, but they are facing difficulties due to high business costs and low business feasibility. In order to improve the residential environment and housing performance of these apartment complexes, it is necessary to develop a business model for the low cost remodeling project and formulate the public financial support so as to prevent the deterioration of old apartments.
Demand for the current remodeling project is concentrated in apartment complexes constructed in the 1990s. The apartment complex completed since the 2000s performs well in terms of housing performance and facilities, and structural safety. These apartments need proper maintenance rather than the full-scale replacement. The demand for large-scale remodeling projects is expected to decrease in the long term. Future demand for the remodeling project is expected to change thus the necessity to establish a new concept and role in the remodeling business. 
As population declines, the supply of new houses has decrease while the need to maintain existing apartment buildings throughout their life-cycle is increasing. It is necessary to establish the management policy direction depending on the life cycle of the apartment and the management system to implement the policy. The remodeling project should also be promoted to improve the quality of the living environment in terms of life-cycle management.