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HOUSING BENEFITS ACT

Act No. 12333, Jan. 24, 2014

Amended by Act No. 12933, Dec. 30, 2014

Act No. 13378, jun. 22, 2015

Act No. 13487, Aug. 11, 2015

Act No. 13805, Jan. 19, 2016

 Article 1 (Purpose)
The purpose of this Act is to contribute to improving residential stability and housing standards of citizens by providing housing benefits to the deprived.
 Article 2 (Definitions)
The terms used in this Act shall be defined as follows: <Amended by Act No. 13487, Aug. 11, 2015; Act No. 13805, Jan. 19, 2016>
1. The term "housing benefits" means housing benefits referred to in Article 7 (1) 2 of the National Basic Living Security Act, which consist of rent, repair, and maintenance expenses and other receivable cash and goods necessary for residential stability;
2. The term "eligible recipient" means a person eligible to receive housing benefits;
3. The term "recipient" means a person who is paid housing benefits;
4. The term "receivable cash and goods" means money or goods provided or lent to recipients under this Act;
5. The term "housing security agency" means the State or a local government which provides housing benefits;
6. The term "obligatory provider" means a person responsible for supporting an eligible recipient, who is a lineal blood relative of the first degree or his/her spouse: Provided, That the spouse of a deceased lineal blood relative of the first degree shall be excluded herefrom;
7. The term "recognized income" means the recognized income defined in subparagraph 9 of Article 2 of the National Basic Living Security Act;
8. The term "housing, etc." means facilities for residential purposes, including housing defined in subparagraph 1 of Article 2 of the Housing Act and quasi-housing defined in subparagraph 4 of Article 2 of the Housing Act, the scope and types of which are prescribed by the Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.
 Article 3 (Responsibilities of State and Local Governments)
The State and each local government shall formulate and implement policies relating to housing benefits, ensuring the following:
1. It shall ensure that recipients live a pleasant and safe residential life;
2. It shall raise finances necessary for housing benefits.
 Article 4 (Relationship with other Acts)
Except as otherwise expressly provided for in this Act concerning housing benefits, the National Basic Living Security Act shall govern.
 Article 5 (Scope of Eligible Recipients)
(1) An eligible recipient shall be a person who has no obligatory provider or has an obligatory provider incapable of rendering support or unreliable for support, if any, whose recognized income is less than the amount determined after deliberation and resolution by the Central Livelihood Security Committee referred to in Article 20 (2) of the National Basic Living Security Act (hereinafter referred to as "selection standard for housing benefits" in this paragraph). In such cases, the selection standard for housing benefits shall be at least 43/100 of the standard median income. <Amended by Act No. 12933, Dec. 30, 2014>
(2) A person who has an obligatory provider incapable of rendering support or unreliable for support referred to in paragraph (1) shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree, taking into account the income, spending levels, etc. of citizens.
 Article 6 (Housing Security Agencies)
(1) Housing benefits shall be provided by the Special Metropolitan City Mayor, a Metropolitan City Mayor, a Special Self-Governing City Mayor, a Do Governor, a Special Self-Governing Province Governor, or the head of a Si/Gun/Gu, who has jurisdiction over the places of residence of eligible recipients or recipients.
(2) Measures to be taken when eligible recipients or recipients change their places of residence, matters regarding cooperation among housing security agencies, and other matters necessary to handle relevant affairs shall be prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.
(3) Housing security agencies shall appoint a public official who would be exclusively in charge of social welfare referred to in Article 14 of the Social Welfare Services Act in order to require him/her to perform duties relating to housing security under this Act, such as investigations on eligible recipients and recipients, the determination of eligibility and the payment of benefits.
 Article 7 (Payment of Rent)
(1) Rent referred to in subparagraph 1 of Article 2 (hereinafter referred to as "rent") shall be paid to persons prescribed by the Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, who live in another person's housing, etc.
(2) The criteria for payment of rent shall be determined by the Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, taking into account the recipients' household size, recognized income, types of residence, the amount of rent paid, the standard rent by region, etc. referred to in paragraphs (3).
(3) In order to set the payment levels of rent, the Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport may determine the standard rent by region, taking into account the household size, minimum residential standards, etc. referred to in Article 17 of the Framework Act on Residence. <Amended by Act No. 13378, Jun. 22, 2015>
(4) Rent shall be paid into a designated account in the relevant recipient's name pursuant to Article 27-2 (1) of the National Basic Living Security Act: Provided, That where a recipient rents housing, etc. leased by the State, a local government, Korea Land and Housing Corporation or a local public enterprise, the rent may be paid into a designated account in the name of the relevant lessor who has concluded a lease contract with such recipient; and where any extenuating circumstances prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport exist, a different method of payment may be adopted, as prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.
 Article 8 (Payment of Repair and Maintenance Expenses)
(1) Repair and maintenance expenses referred to in subparagraph 1 of Article 2 (hereinafter referred to as "repair and maintenance expenses") shall be paid to persons who own housing, etc. and live in such housing, etc.;
(2) The criteria for payment of repair and maintenance expenses shall be determined by the Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, taking into account the recipients' household size, recognized income, the amount of repair and maintenance expenses required, the degree of deterioration of housing, etc.
(3) Repair and maintenance expenses shall be paid into a designated account in the relevant recipient's name pursuant to Article 27-2 (1) of the National Basic Living Security Act, if such expenses are paid in cash: Provided, That where any extenuating circumstances prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport exist, a different method of payment may be adopted, as prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.
(4) Procedures and method for paying expenses for repair and maintenance and other necessary matters shall be prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.
 Article 9 (Provision of Housing Benefits)
Except as otherwise expressly provided for in Articles 10 through 14, the National Basic Living Security Act shall apply mutatis mutandis to matters concerning the provision, etc. of housing benefits, such as application for and determination and alteration of housing benefits.
 Article 10 (Investigation on Applications)
(1) Where a Special Self-Governing City Mayor, a Special Self-Governing Province Governor, or the head of a Si/Gun/Gu in receipt of an application for payment of rent conducts an investigation on an application under Article 22 (1) of the National Basic Living Security Act, he/she may conduct such investigation (hereinafter referred to as "investigation upon application"), including the following matters:
1. The lease contract for the relevant housing, etc.;
2. Any other matters prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, which are necessary to pay rent.
(2) Where a Special Self-Governing City Mayor, a Special Self-Governing Province Governor, or the head of a Si/Gun/Gu in receipt of an application for payment of repair and maintenance expenses conducts an investigation on application, he/she may conduct such investigation including the following matters:
1. Physical conditions of the relevant housing, etc., such as structural safety, waterproofing, and insulation;
2. Any other matters prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, which are necessary to pay the repair and maintenance expenses.
 Article 11 (Investigation for Verification)
(1) In order to verify the qualification for housing benefits, a Special Self-Governing City Mayor, a Special Self-Governing Province Governor, or the head of a Si/Gun/Gu shall formulate an annual investigation plan each year and conduct an investigation (hereinafter referred to as "investigation for verification") of the following matters:
1. A lease contract referred to in Article 10 (1) 1;
2. Physical conditions of the relevant housing, etc. referred to in Article 10 (2) 1;
3. Any other matters prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, which are necessary to provide housing benefits.
(2) Matters necessary for investigation for verification, such as the periodicity of investigation, shall be prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.
 Article 12 (Request for Investigation)
(1) A Special Self-Governing City Mayor, a Special Self-Governing Province Governor, or the head of a Si/Gun/Gu may request an institution which has expertise and experience in housing welfare business, such as housing lease and amelioration of housing, to conduct an investigation on application and an investigation for verification.
(2) Institutions eligible to receive requests under paragraph (1), the details and scope of the requests, and other necessary matters shall be prescribed by the Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.
 Article 13 (Methods, Procedures, etc. for Conducting Investigations)
(1) A Special Self-Governing City Mayor, a Special Self-Governing Province Governor, the head of a Si/Gun/Gu, and an institution requested to conduct an investigation on application or an investigation for verification pursuant to Article 12 (hereinafter referred to as "housing security agency, etc." in this Article) may require an eligible recipient, a recipient, or other relevant person to submit materials prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, such as materials verifying a lease contract, if necessary to conduct an investigation on an application or an investigation for verification.
(2) A person who conducts an investigation on an application or an investigation for verification may enter the relevant recipient's residence to investigate whether the recipient lives therein and the conditions of housing, etc., if necessary. In such cases, a person who conducts an investigation upon application or an investigation for verification shall carry a certificate indicating his/her authority and present it to the relevant person.
(3) Where a housing security agency, etc. intends to use computer networks or data related to land, buildings, etc. in order to conduct an investigation on an application or an investigation for verification, it may request the heads of relevant agencies to provide cooperation. In such cases, the heads of the relevant agencies shall comply with such request, except in extenuating circumstances.
(4) A housing security agency, etc. may manage data including personal information prescribed by Presidential Decree, such as personally identifiable information referred to in Article 24 of the Personal Information Protection Act, in order to conduct an investigation on an application or an investigation for verification.
(5) No current or former staff member of a housing security agency, etc. shall use any information and data obtained pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (2) for any purpose other than the purposes prescribed by this Act or shall provide or divulge it to other persons or institutions.
(6) A housing security agency, etc. shall prepare and keep the findings of an investigation conducted under paragraph (1) and (2) in its register, and any other matters necessary for the investigation shall be prescribed by the Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport: Provided, That where such findings are managed by any electronic data processing organization, they may be substituted with electronic files.
(7) Other matters necessary for the methods and procedures for conducting an investigation on an application or an investigation for verification shall be prescribed by the Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.
 Article 14 (Rejection of Application for Housing Benefits and Suspension of Payment of Housing Benefits)
(1) Where an eligible recipient refuses, interferes with, or evades a request for submission of materials or an investigation referred to in Article 13 on at least two occasions, the relevant housing security agency may reject his/her application for housing benefits.
(2) A housing security agency may suspend the payment of all or some of the housing benefits from the housing benefit payment date of the following month, as prescribed by Presidential Decree, in any of the following cases:
1. The relevant recipient refuses, interferes with, or evades a request for submission of materials or an investigation referred to in Article 13 on at least two occasions;
2. The relevant recipient uses the rent paid for any other purpose, resulting in the rent being overdue for a period longer than the period prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.
(3) Where a housing security agency rejects an application for housing benefits pursuant to paragraph (1), and where it suspends the payment of housing benefits pursuant to paragraph (2), it shall notify the relevant eligible recipient and recipient of such rejection or suspension, expressly specifying the ground therefor in writing.
 Article 15 (Provision of Financial Information, etc.)
(1) Notwithstanding Article 4 (1) of the Act on Real Name Financial Transactions and Confidentiality and Article 32 (1) of the Credit Information Use and Protection Act, the Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport may request the heads of financial institutions, etc. (referring to financial companies, etc. defined in subparagraph 1 of Article 2 of the Act on Real Name Financial Transactions and Confidentiality and credit information collection agencies referred to in Article 25 of the Credit Information Use and Protection Act; hereinafter the same shall apply in this Article) to provide relevant financial information, credit information, or insurance information (hereinafter referred to as "financial information, etc.") on the ground of a written consent submitted by the relevant eligible recipient and his/her obligatory provider pursuant to Article 21 (3) of the National Basic Living Security Act which is converted into electronic form.
(2) Where the Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport deems it necessary for conducting an investigation for verification under Article 23 of the National Basic Living Security Act and an investigation for verification under Article 11 of this Act, he/she may request the heads of financial institutions, etc., by a document in which personal information is stated in accordance with the standards prescribed by Presidential Decree or through information and communications networks, to provide financial information, etc. of the relevant recipient and his/her obligatory provider, notwithstanding Article 4 (1) of the Act on Real Name Financial Transactions and Confidentiality and Article 32 (1) of the Credit Information Use and Protection Act.
(3) Upon receipt of a request for the provision of financial information, etc. pursuant to paragraph (1) or (2), the head of a relevant financial institution, etc. shall provide financial information, etc. of the relevant titleholder, notwithstanding Article 4 of the Act on Real Name Financial Transactions and Confidentiality and Article 32 of the Credit Information Use and Protection Act.
(4) The head of a financial institution, etc. who has provided financial information, etc. pursuant to paragraph (3) shall notify the relevant titleholder of the provision of his/her financial information, etc.: Provided, That where the titleholder gives consent, the head of a financial institution, etc. may not give notification, notwithstanding Article 4-2 (1) of the Act on Real Name Financial Transactions and Confidentiality and Article 35 of the Credit Information Use and Protection Act.
(5) A request for the provision of financial information, etc. and the provision thereof referred to in paragraphs (1) through (3) shall be made by means of the information and communications networks defined in Article 2 (1) 1 of the Act on Promotion of Information and Communications Network Utilization and Information Protection, Etc.: Provided, That this shall not apply where any extenuating circumstances exist, such as damage to the information and communications networks.
(6) No person who is or was engaged in the affairs prescribed in paragraphs (1) through (3) shall use financial information, etc. obtained in the course of performing his/her duties for any purpose other than the purposes prescribed by this Act or shall provide or divulge it to other persons or institutions.
(7) Matters necessary for requests for the provision of financial information, etc., the provision thereof, etc. referred to in paragraphs (1) through (3) and (5) shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
(8) The Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport may entrust his/her duties referred to in paragraphs (1) and (2) to the Minister of Health and Welfare.
 Article 16 (Pilot Projects)
(1) The Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport may implement a pilot project to pay rent. In such cases, the rent paid according to a pilot project shall be deemed the housing benefits provided under Article 7 (1) 2 of the National Basic Living Security Act.
(2) Matters necessary for implementing a pilot project under paragraph (1), such as objects of the pilot project and the payment criteria, shall be prescribed by the Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.
 Article 17 (Computerization of Housing Benefit Payment)
(1) The Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport may establish and operate an information system (hereinafter referred to as "information system") to efficiently process various data or information necessary for housing benefits and to computerize recording and management business.
(2) The information system referred to in paragraph (1) may be utilized by electronically linking it with the information system referred to in Article 6-2 of the Social Welfare Services Act.
(3) In order to establish and operate an information system, the Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport may collect, manage, and possess the following materials and may request relevant institutions or organizations to provide necessary materials. In such cases, institutions or organizations in receipt of such request shall comply therewith except in extenuating circumstances:
1. Documents submitted by recipients to receive rent or repair and maintenance expenses (including personal information prescribed by Presidential Decree, such as personally identifiable information referred to in Article 24 of the Personal Information Protection Act);
2. Data on whether rent or repair and maintenance expenses have been paid and on the amount paid;
3. Results of investigations on an application and investigations for verification;
4. Such data as financial information, etc. referred to in Article 15;
5. Any other data prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, which are necessary to pay rent and expenses for repair and maintenance.
(4) The Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport may entrust the establishment and operation of the information system referred to in paragraph (1) to an agency prescribed by the Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, taking account of its connection with investigations on applications and investigations for verification, expertise in business related to information systems, etc. In such cases, expenses incurred in entrusting such business may by fully or partially subsidized.
(5) Any other matters necessary for the establishment and operation of the information system shall be prescribed by the Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.
 Article 18 (Guidance, Supervision, etc.)
The Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport may guide and supervise the heads of local governments in relation to matters concerning housing benefits or require them to make necessary reports, if necessary.
 Article 19 (Bearing Housing Benefits)
Expenses incurred in paying housing benefits shall be borne by the State and local governments pursuant to Article 43 of the National Basic Living Security Act.
 Article 20 (Collection of Costs and Order to Return)
(1) Where it has been verified that a recipient has an obligatory provider capable of rendering support, or where a recipient receives housing benefits or aids others to received house benefits by deceit or other unlawful means, the relevant housing security agency may collect the relevant costs pursuant to Article 46 of the National Basic Living Security Act.
(2) Where any overpayment of the receivable cash and goods already provided to a recipient occurs, and where a decision not to pay housing benefits is made based on results of an investigation after urgent benefits have been paid pursuant to Article 27 (2) of the National Basic Living Security Act, the relevant housing security agency may issue an order to return the overpaid portion or relevant housing benefits pursuant to Article 47 of the National Basic Living Security Act.
 Article 21 (Penalty Provisions)
Any person who uses, provides, or divulges financial information in violation of Article 15 (6) shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than five years or by a fine not exceeding 30 million won.
 Article 22 (Penalty Provisions)
Any person who damages, destroys, alters, forges, leaks, searches, or copies any data in any information system without access authority or beyond the scope of authorized access shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than three years or by a fine not exceeding 30 million won.
 Article 23 (Penalty Provisions)
Any of the following persons shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than three years or by a fine not exceeding 20 million won:
1. A person who uses, provides, or divulges any information or data in violation of Article 13 (5) (excluding a violation of Article 15 (6));
2. A person who uses, provides, or divulges any credit information or insurance information in violation of Article 15 (6).
 Article 24 (Penalty Provisions)
Any person who receives housing benefits or aids others to receive housing benefits by deceit or other unlawful means shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than one year or by a fine not exceeding 10 million won:
 Article 25 (Joint Penalty Provisions)
Where the representative of a corporation, or an agent or employee of, or any other person employed by, a corporation or an individual commits any offense referred to in under Articles 21 through 24 in connection with the affairs of the corporation or individual, not only shall such offender be punished accordingly, but the corporation or individual shall also be punished by a fine under the relevant provisions: Provided, That the same shall not apply where such corporation or individual has not been negligent in giving due attention and supervision concerning the relevant affairs to prevent such offense.
ADDENDA
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force on October 1, 2014: Provided, That Article 8 shall enter into force on January 1, 2015 and Article 16 shall enter into force on July 1, 2014.
Article 2 (Preparatory Activities for Enforcement of This Act)
The State or local governments may perform preparatory activities necessary for conducting investigations on applications or investigations for verification, establishing an information system, or providing housing benefits, before this Act enters into force.
Article 3 (Transitional Measures concerning Payment of Repair and Maintenance Expenses)
Housing benefits for a recipient who lives in housing, etc. he/she owns shall be provided pursuant to Article 11 of the National Basic Living Security Act (Act No. 11248) until the enforcement date of Article 8.
Article 4 Omitted.
Article 5 (Relationship with other Acts)
Notwithstanding the enforcement of this Act, housing benefits provided pursuant to Article 11 of the National Basic Living Security Act shall be deemed provided under this Act: Provided, That the same shall not apply to Article 16.
ADDENDA <Act No. 12933, Dec. 30, 2014>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force six months after the date of its promulgation. (Proviso Omitted.)
Articles 2 through 8 Omitted.
ADDENDA <Act No. 13378, Jun. 22, 2015>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force six months after the date of its promulgation.
Articles 2 through 7 Omitted.
ADDENDA <Act No. 13487, Aug. 11, 2015>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force on the date of its promulgation.
Article 2 (Applicability to Obligatory Providers)
The amended provisions of the proviso to subparagraph 6 of Article 2 shall also apply to obligatory providers referred to in the former provisions from July 1, 2015 until the enforcement date of this Act.
Article 3 (Transitional Measures concerning Recognized Income)
"Subparagraph 8 of Article 2 of the National Basic Living Security Act" in the former provisions of subparagraph 7 of Article 2 shall be deemed "subparagraph 9 of Article 2 of the National Basic Living Security Act" from July 1, 2015 until the enforcement date of this Act.
ADDENDA <Act No. 13805, Jan. 19, 2016>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force on August 12, 2016.
Articles 2 through 22 Omitted.