Fair Gyeonggi Province Where No One Is Left Behind: Gyeonggi’s Support Customized for Single-Person Households

Createdd 2020-02-20 Hit 106

Contents

○ On February 20, Welfare Bureau Director General Lee Byeong-woo announced a single-person household support plan consisting of 18 goals in 6 areas
-Policy support tailored to the characteristics and demands of each life stage
-Building emotional support bases and social safety networks by establishing social relationship networks
-Various new projects such as support for communities of different age groups, telephone counseling services, and the creation of an IoT-based crime prevention and response system

Gyeonggi Province has established a plan to support single-person households and promised various initiatives to provide customized support such households in the province.

The plan, based on the vision to create a “Nauri” (portmanteau of “I and We” in Korean) community in which people can live independently and yet remain connected to their community, is geared to realize a society that respects and protects the independent and communal living of single-person households.

Welfare Bureau Director General Lee Byeong-woo held a press conference at the Gyeonggi Provincial Government Complex on February 20 and announced “Gyeonggi Province’s 2020 Plan to Support Single-Person Households”.

“Single-person households have long since become a very common household type in Korea, but they are still in a welfare policy dead zone. We will provide policy support customized to their needs so as to make Gyeonggi a fair community in which no one is cut off from welfare benefits,” said Director General Lee.

The announced “Gyeonggi Province’s 2020 Plan to Support Single-Person Households” consists of 18 projects in six areas designed to realize the goals of establishing social safety networks through mutual care and promoting policies tailored to each life stage.

Gyeonggi Province plans to set up detailed goals in the six following areas where high policy demands exist among single-person households: overcoming loneliness and isolation; social dining to make up for the shortcomings of eating alone; support for self-reliance; health care support; creating a safe living environment; and “dying well” (dignified death) support. The province will establish and implement relevant policies on a trial basis this year to fulfill the goals.

First, in order to help single-person households overcome loneliness and isolation, Gyeonggi Province will establish social relation networks and social safety nets by creating youth and middle-aged communities and running programs customized for them. To senior citizens living alone, Gyeonggi Province will supply artificial intelligence speakers that will be their companions to talk with, offering music services in order to alleviate isolation through emotional support. Also, a 24-hour emergency rescue system will be created utilizing the IoT technology for senior citizens living alone. In addition, pet care services will be provided to vulnerable single households keeping companion animals so as to reduce the burden of care and strengthen emotional support.

Second, a social dining project will be actively promoted for members of single-person households who always eat alone, along with community kitchen and diet improvement programs. Also, a meal service that provides fine meals three times a day to single-person households living in public housing at low prices will be launched on a trial basis.

Third, Gyeonggi Province will help single-person households achieve self-reliance so that they can maintain their independence. In addition, the province plans to develop and disseminate educational contents regarding practical knowhow in various areas, while promoting the sharing of expensive but not frequently used household goods to help young single-person households reduce spending on daily necessities and contribute to resource recycling.

Fourth, Gyeonggi Province plans to support single-person household health care by providing middle-aged and older single-person households that are most prone to social isolation with telephone counseling and emotional support at least twice a week to prevent solitary death. Operating programs for health management, health education and group exercise, the province will prioritize related support for single-person households.

Fifth, Gyeonggi Province will create a safe living environment for single-person households. To this end, it will evaluate various projects that have been carried out in cities and counties to ensure women’s safety, selecting the safest towns and providing incentives in order to encourage more cities and counties to devise effective projects for women’s safety and increase the number of safe towns. Also, the province will identify areas with many single-woman households and high crime rates for the establishment of crime prevention and response systems based on IoT. In addition, Gyeonggi Province plans to expand stable residential spaces for young people by supplying 1,000 youth/dormitory-type housing units and 3,136 Gyeonggi Happy Housing units for youths by 2022.

Sixth, Gyeonggi Province is planning to support “dying well” (dignified death) for single-person households. According to the plan, related education will be provided to reduce anxiety among single-person households who often face the possibility of unattended death due to the absence of family members and help them deal with required legal procedures in advance. Gyeonggi Province will organize a legal expert advisory group to provide guidance on how to prepare a will and dispose of property after death. In addition, to prevent the neglect or illegal use of property of persons with no family members or friends after their death, the province plans to introduce a public inheritance manager system so that the property of the deceased can be disposed of in a transparent and appropriate manner.

Gyeonggi Province has earmarked KRW 114.1 billion in support for single-person households that includes a policy implementation budget of KRW 3.3 billion and a provincial budget of KRW 2.2 billion as well as a housing support budget of KRW 110.8 billion won that includes a provincial budget of 12.8 billion won.

In 2020, Gyeonggi Province will implement consumer-oriented policies focused on supporting young, middle-aged and older single-person households on a trial basis and, from 2021, plans to expand and enforce these policies in earnest based on evaluation results.

“Although single-person households account for more than a quarter of all households in Gyeonggi Province, policy support for them has remained at insufficient levels until now. Gyeonggi Province will pursue all possible systematic support for single-person households, which are exposed to various problems such as social disconnection and isolation due to a breakdown of family safety nets, so that they can live in harmony with their communities,” said Director General Lee.