December 05, 2023

The myth of free housing in North Korea

While cases do exist, desirable real estate in Pyongyang and elsewhere is wildly out of reach for most

For decades, free housing has remained a major topic of North Korean propaganda which claims that apartments and houses are distributed by the state free of charge and in strict accordance with the needs of the population – much to the envy of the foreigners. 

To cite one of many examples, the Pyongyang Times recently quoted “a foreign businessman” as saying, “Working people are living in majestic high-rise apartment houses. It is unbelievable. In other countries, even when all family members work hard and put all their savings together, it is different to buy such a wonderful house.”