|President Moon Jae-in speaks during a Cabinet meeting at Cheong Wa Dae, July 7. Yonhap|
By Do Je-hae
Cheong Wa Dae has come under fire once again for being unable to keep to its own one-house-per-person policy aimed at cooling down the housing market.
This is despite Yoon Seong-won, presidential secretary for land, infrastructure and transport, saying he sold one of his two houses recently.
The sale came amid rising criticism that a number of ranking government officials and presidential aides have multiple houses while the Moon Jae-in administration has been focusing on preventing speculation that is pushing up housing prices.
Yoon owned two houses ― one in the administrative town of Sejong City and another in Gangnam-gu, the richest district in Seoul. He said in a media interview that procedures began early this month to sell the property in Sejong, which is worth much less than the home in Gangnam.
He said he decided to sell the home following recommendations from the presidential chief of staff Noh Young-min and Prime Minister Chung Sey-kyun for high-ranking government officials to sell houses other than their main residences. He added he sold the Sejong home because he is living in the Seoul one.
But the decision is being heavily criticized as a move to protect his more lucrative property in Seoul. Yoon's sale was also the second of its kind following Noh's earlier sale of a property in Chungcheong region rather than the more expensive home he owns in southern Seoul. Following public uproar, Noh later said he would sell both houses.
Cheong Wa Dae officials' inconsistency in complying with the housing policy has been one of key factors negatively affecting President Moon Jae-in's approval rating.
A Realmeter survey showed Monday that the President's job approval rating has been falling for the last seven consecutive weeks, recording 48.7 percent in the latest poll.