Sunday, March 04, 2018

Kaohsiung city gov't vs Military village

A "bikeway" in Fengyuan. All the government did was mark the motorcycle lane as a "bike route". I bet somewhere this has been collected as a kilometer of "bike route".

A friend posted this to Facebook about the military village along Shengli Rd and Chengfeng Rd near the Lotus Pond in Kaohsiung. This sort of thing is how the military villages are commonly handled. When old soldiers were settled in the cities they were given what was then worthless land to build on, owned by the government. Without their own land they owned nothing and remained on the outside of the Taiwan Miracle economy. Now they are old and the K-town city government is replicating the behavior of city governments everywhere. Would be great if the student groups could show up here...
Another chapter in the unfolding saga of the Kaohsiung city government vs the residents of the old military village housing where our restaurant is located, which is slated for demolition later this year, to make way for a reconstructed Qing Dynasty city wall and moat. Those without legal title to the land are being offered the government assessed value of the bricks and mortar of the structure they live in, and even those with legal title to the land are being offered a pittance for their land in addition to the value of the bricks and mortar. In neither case is the money sufficient to buy even the smallest studio apartment in the crappiest building in the far suburbs of the city.

Many of the residents of this area are retired working class folk living on very limited incomes, and may not be able to afford to rent once their houses are taken from them. So residents are understandably extremely upset and have organized in various ways to oppose the city's plans. Recently city officials have visited everyone with businesses in the affected area to discuss moving them to a nicer location where they claim there will be more foot traffic. Of course these locations conveniently also belong to the city and rent would be charged, payable to the city, although it is quite reasonable rent - probably somewhat below market.

This next bit is just hearsay, but we've been told that they have also approached some of the key organizers and most vocal community members and said don't tell anyone, but we will work with you, just you, to line up a place to live which you will own outright, if you stop your involvement in the community resistance. To add insult to injury, the Cultural Affairs Bureau is supporting a spectacular multi-million NT$ local opera performance this weekend on the already reconstructed part of the wall next to us, and are opening a new museum in the park behind us, also this weekend. So they have lots of money to splash around for big events, but apparently not to properly compensate people who will be left homeless once their houses are taken later this year.
Apparently the central government has provided an enormous subsidy, but the city government is loathe to spend it on giving these people a way to live.
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What's the party affiliation of the local government? Speaking of parties, how has the KMT been doing since the freezing of its funds?