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Linkou public housing will be the athletes’ village for the 2017 World Universiade (University Games).

Even though there have been disputes between the Taipei City Government and New Taipei City Government regarding household allocation, the construction expects to be completed by the end of next year.

On December 2, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je said at the beam-raising ceremony that the Taipei City Government or New Taipei City Government would be the rental agent of the athletes’ village, or return it back to the Construction and Planning Agency under the Ministry of the Interior. The city governments will never purchase the village.

Liberty Times reports, Linkou public housing, which includes 34 buildings (3,479 households in total) in four locations, was planned by the Ministry of the Interior and contracted out by the Taipei City Government. As an athletes’ village, it will be handed over to the Organizing Committee of the World Universiade for a trial operation in June 2017. The village will officially open in mid August 2017. It is estimated that the athletes can drive to each stadium from the village within an hour.

Minister of the Interior, Chen Wei-zen, says that the costs of the land and construction for Linkou public housing was based on the housing investment funds and housing issues of the Greater Taipei need to be considered by the government. That’s why after the 2017 World Universiade, the athletes’ village will become social housing for young people in Taipei and social vulnerable groups.

China Times reports, there are recent rumors of the central government asking the Taipei City Government to purchase the 1,600 households back with NT$ 12 billion (approximately US$ 366.6 million), and requesting New Taipei City to be the rental agent. Ko says he believes the athletes’ village in Linkou would not be inferior to the one he just visited in South Korea, but the city government will absolutely not purchase it back.

UDN reports, the Department of Urban Development of New Taipei City says construction for the athletes’ village started in 2013. It is estimated to have houses with one to four rooms. When the village is transformed to social housing, its price will be 20% off the market price and only for rent. It will also guarantee 30% of the spaces for social vulnerable groups to achieve residential justice.

New Taipei City Deputy Mayor Hou You-yi says that constructions in Linkou have been developing rapidly. Linkou is now the fastest growing city in Taiwan by population. After the public housing is initiated, it could provide living spaces for more than 10,000 people.

Ko says there are only two years left before the 2017 World Universiade. Roughly over 20,000 people will be visiting Taiwan then, including athletes, judges, administrative staffs and media. He says that the key of success is the athletes’ village, and after completion of the hardware, software for the operating system will be finalized as soon as possible.

Tranlated by Wen-yee Lee
Edited by Olivia Yang