In order to understand how young people view the series of new policies announced in the Policy Address such as the Green Form Subsidised Home Ownership Scheme, the regularization of the White Form buyers scheme for the HOS and the local first-time homebuyers scheme, and the increase in supply of transitional housing to alleviate the poor living conditions of families on the PRH waitlist and others, the YoungDAB held a survey on housing policy from 9th to 23rd November 2017 in a questionnaire format with 877 eligible responses.
In general, young people who are already married or who are a little older basically supported the new government policies on housing, while the majority of youth felt that none of the policies were of any help to homebuyers. The YoungDAB believes that this is because young people face with the problem of dual sector model of the economy such as disparity in income, job opportunities and job stability decline. There are fewer opportunities for upward social mobility for young people which is easy to make them to be stuck, unable to take a higher paying job but unwilling to settle for a lower paying one. This affects their ability to save for their first home.
The YoungDAB has the following suggestions:
1.Renew the role and position of the University Curriculum
We propose increasing the number of university places to meet the needs of the Hong Kong market and reduce the manpower mismatches. Utilise the advantages of the Hong Kong knowledge-based economy and provide young people with opportunities for upward social mobility and improve their capability and competitiveness.
2.Strengthen the role of Career-oriented Curriculum Courses
In order to strengthen the role of career-oriented curriculum courses, the YoungDAB proposes the government to set up parameters and estimate how much manpower each industry requires and then adjust the high-level academic/diploma course places. Allow students to plan out how to develop their careers and face competition before applying for courses.
3.Speed up construction of HOS and public housing
We propose the government to continue building public housing to meet the most basic housing needs of the people of Hong Kong and the needs of more than 276,000 people on the PRH waitlist.
Also, the government should continue to speed up the approval process and construction of HOS units. Hire more workers and increase the number of HOS units completed each year.
4.Construct medium and small housing units
We propose the government to induce property developers to promote more small and medium-sized private residential flats. For example if the land sale conditions induce property developers to construct the requisite number of small or medium flats and increase the proportion of small flats and therefore meet the needs of smaller families in modern Hong Kong.
5.Expand the Youth Hostel Scheme as soon as possible
We propose the government to expand the Youth Hostel Scheme as soon as possible and find more places to build more youth hostels in different areas. This is to satisfy the need for young people to live independently. After a certain deadline, the young people must leave the unit. During this period, they can accumulate wealth to pay for the down payment and thereby increase their future ability to purchase property. The government must take into account the financial burden of young people and young families when determining the rent in order to provide them a foundation to purchase their own property in the future.
At the same time we propose the government to cooperate with private developers to build non-purchasable and term-limited rental youth hostel units on the private land by specifying in the land sale conditions.