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Enabling the middle class to buy homes and grassroots to move into public housing

Housing is still the greatest public concern. My aims in this respect are clear, and they are to enable the middle class to buy homes and the grassroots to move into public housing.

Since taking office I have effectively suppressed demand for local property from investors and speculators, both inside and outside Hong Kong, through demand-side management measures. At the same time, the Government has been doing its best to find land for housing development, and we will introduce a Pilot Scheme for Arbitration on Land Premium to expedite land supply. The Government has now identified sufficient land for 179 000 public rental housing (PRH) units and 17 000 Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) units as pledged. With the unreserved efforts of the government departments concerned, we are making good progress in this respect. The Government aims to provide an average of about 20 000 PRH units and about 8 000 HOS units per year.

Today I visited Shui Chuen O Estate in Shatin. Providing 11 123 PRH units, this large-scale housing estate is expected to be completed in phases from the second half of this year to the first half of next year, and this will help alleviate the housing problem to a certain extent. Aiming to promote intergenerational harmony and the greater inclusion of people with disabilities, this project will provide not only housing units but also community facilities for local residents.

Hong Kong possesses advanced building technology and has rich experience in housing construction. The Government also has the funds and determination to build a large number of PRH and HOS units. The only thing we lack is residential land. While striving to find more land, the Government will listen carefully to the views of the District Councils and residents concerned in order to take forward planning work and provide better ancillary facilities. I am confident that with the co-operation of all parties concerned, we can accelerate housing supply to enable our people to buy homes or move into public housing at an early date.

Photo   Photo

January 22, 2014