Aug 26, 2019 Government & Politics Comments Off on Political parties urged to address soaring housing prices
Taipei-A group of housing rights activists on Monday called on all political parties to put forth concrete policies for dealing with the issue of high housing prices in Taiwan.
At a press conference to mark the 30th anniversary of a historic protest in Taipei against unaffordable housing, Peng Yang-kai (???), a spokesperson for the Housing Movement, said that three decades later housing prices have continued to rise.
In 1989, when members of the so-called Snails Without Shells Movement staged a huge sleep-out on Zhongxiao East Road, the housing price-to-income ratio in Taipei was 8.58 to 1, Peng said.
That ratio represented the number of years the average person needed to save, without spending on anything else, to buy a house of median value, he said.
By 2014, the ratio had risen to 14.94, meaning that a person had to save for nearly 15 years, without any spending, to be able to purchase a house in Taipei, said Peng, whose organization grew from the Snails Without Shells Movement.
The figures indicate that the government's efforts to curb housing prices over the past three decades have been ineffective, he said.
While the government has been building more affordable social housing units across the country, no reforms have been put in place to ensure transparency of property transactions to lower property taxes, or to utilize vacant properties, Peng said.
As a result, young people, who have relatively low incomes, have fallen victim to high housing prices, he said.
Soaring property prices are now a national security issue and must be addressed by all political parties in the country ahead of the Jan. 2020 presidential and legislative elections, members of the Housing Movement said at the press conference.
On the night of Aug. 26, 1989, some 50,000 people staged a sleep-out on Zhongxiao East Road, the most expensive area in the capital city at the time, in protest against skyrocketing housing prices, in what was said to be the first demonstration in Taiwan to demand housing justice.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel