HK to Expedite Planned Public Housing Projects
Hong Kong lawmakers have urged the government to expedite planned public housing projects and give a higher priority to families where both the husband and wife are permanent residents. The call came after the government announced on Wednesday that it had secured enough land to build 301,000 public housing units over the next 10 years.
Based on the Long Term Housing Strategy (LTHS) Annual Progress Report 2020 to be published by the Transport and Housing Bureau (THB), the government has identified all of the 330 hectares of land needed for 316,000 public housing units to meet the demand for about 301,000 public housing units between 2021 and 2031, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said in her fourth Policy Address on Wednesday.
Such land mainly comes from reclamation in Tung Chung, agricultural land and brownfield sites in New Development Areas (NDAs) such as Kwu Tung North/Fanling North and Hung Shui Kiu/Ha Tsuen in the New Territories, Lam said.
The government will speed up implementation of the Northern Link railway project to tie in with the population intake of the public housing development in Kwu Tung North NDA, and provide impetus for growth in the area covering San Tin, Ngau Tam Mei and Au Tau.
Other resources include a number of sites that have been rezoned for public housing, the re-allocation of nine sites at Kai Tak and Anderson Road Quarry, partial development of the Fanling Golf Course and a number of brownfield clusters with housing potential.
For many years, the government’s public housing development plan has been criticized by activists and lawmakers for failing to meet the needs of low-income families. According to the Housing Authority, public housing applications amounted to 156,000 at the end of September. On average, applicants have to spend 5.6 years to be granted a flat while those over 60 can get a flat within 3.3 years. In a separate queue, there is an annual quota of 2,200 flats for non-elderly one-person applicants, which amounted to 108,300 last year.