|A man walks past a realtor's office in this file photo. / Korea Times file|
By Kim Bo-eun
The Korea Housing & Urban Guarantee Corporation (HUG) has come under scrutiny for having provided a housing loan guarantee to a foreign resident who owns 42 apartments here.
Data from Rep. So Byung-hoon of the Democratic Party of Korea shows the state-run housing guarantee corporation in November last year became a guarantor for a mortgage for a house in the city of Euiwang in Gyeonggi Province owned by a U.S. national.
HUG is a government agency that assumes a debt obligation in the event the borrower defaults.
The U.S. citizen registered to operate a housing rental business in April 2018.
The lawmaker estimated the amount guaranteed by the corporation would be around 840 million won.
"The land ministry needs to look into why HUG provided a housing loan guarantee to a foreign landlord owning multiple properties, when the agency should be working for people's housing stability," So said.
The American was found to own the sixth largest number of houses among non-Korean landlords here.
The landlord in question owns one apartment in Seoul, 20 in Gyeonggi Province, 10 in Incheon, five in North Chungheong Province and six in South Chungcheong Province.
So said "It is clear from records of purchases that the person in question already owned multiple houses in November 2019."
"HUG needs to disclose the documents the foreign national submitted, to clarify why it provided a guarantee of hundreds of millions of won to a person who owns multiple homes," he said.