HA endorses arrangements to prioritise demand for public rental housing

Hong Kong (HKSAR) - The following is issued on behalf of the Hong Kong Housing Authority:

     The Hong Kong Housing Authority (HA)'s Subsidised Housing Committee (SHC) endorsed at its meeting today (March 17) the outcome of the review of the Under-occupation (UO) Policy, and agreed torevise the allocation standard of public rental housing (PRH) units completed in early years and PRH units converted from previous Home Ownership Scheme (HOS)/Private Sector Participation Scheme (PSPS) flats.

     "In light of the increasing demand for PRH, the SHC considered that while making the best efforts to increase PRH supply, it is necessary to examine ways to better utilise PRH resources, and at the same time to ensure that efforts will be focused on allocating PRH resources to those with more pressing housing needs," a spokesman for the HA said. 

     The SHC has been examining relevant issues since October 2016. At its meeting on February 14, 2017, the SHC endorsed the implementation details of the revised "Well-off Tenants Policies", as well as the introduction of a frozen period for family applicants currently living in PRH. Starting from April 1, 2017, if all household members in a family application are currently living in PRH (whether from the same or different PRH tenancies), the relevant application will be frozen for one year.

     To ensure the rational use of valuable PRH resources, the SHC continued to discuss relevant issues at today's meeting.

In respect of the UO Policy, the SHC decided to:

(a) maintain the current UO standards and prioritised UO (PUO) thresholds (see Annex);

(b) continue to exclude households with members with disabilities or elderly members aged 70 or above from the UO list, and place those households with elderly members aged 60 or above but below 70 at the end of the UO list;

(c) maintain a maximum of three housing offers and an additional incentive in the form of rent waiver of up to three months to PUO households;

(d) continue to offer domestic removal allowance and transfer opportunity to new estates to UO and PUO households, as well as other current arrangements; and

(e) conduct a review of the UO Policy after three years.
     In addition, a more generous approach was adopted in setting the allocation range of some of the PRH units completed in early years (mainly Harmony Blocks) and units converted from previous HOS/PSPS flats. In view of the current tight supply of large units, the SHC decided to revise the allocation standard of these PRH units by adopting the current allocation standard of not less than 7 square metres of internal floor area per person. By doing so, more of such recycled flats of bigger size can be released for allocation to applicants of larger family size.

With immediate effect, the HA will adopt this allocation standard if such recycled flats become available.

Published on: 2017-03-17

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