According to an exclusive interview with Ming Pao, the Chief Executive mentioned that 800,000 rental public housing units were sufficient to meet the needs of the grassroots. Given that currently there are close to 300,000 applications for public housing and that the average time on the waitlist for a family is as long as 4.7 years, we have no choice but to disagree with the Chief Executive that “capping” the number of rental public housing units is the right idea.
We believe that it is a core responsibility of government housing policy to provide rental public housing units that the grassroots could afford. Every HKSAR government since the Handover has strived to provide public housing units to applicants on the waitlist within an average of three years, creating the goal of “allocating a public rental housing flat in around three years’ time” for each applicant. Therefore, we hope that the current HKSAR government can continue to build enough new housing to meet this same goal. Because this goal hasn’t been achieved and the required public housing has not been constructed yet, we cannot understand how the government can promote “800,000 units” as sufficient to meet its responsibility?
Even though HOS housing has quite a bit of investment behind it, but to the hundreds of thousands of public housing applicants, only a few can ever qualify for the HOS. For the majority, the only way to acquire home ownership is to be able to rent a public housing unit. But if newly constructed public housing units are sold, this will certainly affect people on the waitlist. We understand that the HOS serves its purpose to circulate the supply of housing, but the entire process takes up to half a year and therefore will only extend the average waiting time of 4.7 years even further and will sacrifice those most in need of housing instead of helping them. We certainly believe that this is neither ideal nor fair.
Therefore, we repeat our opposition to the government “capping” the number of rental public housing units. Not only that, we ask that the government continue to build new public housing units and to strive to reach the goal of putting everyone on the waitlist into public housing within three years. If the goal cannot be reached, then the government should at least follow its “Long Term Housing Strategy” and build an average of 20,000 new public housing units per year.
Media Inquiries: Wilson Or (9266-1035) , Vincent Cheng (6373-1979)