VI. Increasing Housing and Land
Housing Policy and Principles
83. Housing is the crux of the many problems faced by Hong Kong. It is not just a crucial living condition but also the basis for fulfilling people’s aspirations for a stable and comfortable home. For the grassroots and low-income families, government-subsidised housing is an effective poverty alleviation measure; for the middle class and fairly well-off families, buying a flat means realising the dream of having a home of their own; for the society as a whole, housing is not only a matter of supply and demand, but also an issue of social justice and allocation of resources; from the point of view of governance, unresolved housing problems may jeopardise the long-term prosperity and stability of the society.
84. According to this Government’s established policies, we have regularised the Green Form Subsidised Home Ownership Scheme (GSH) and White Form Secondary Market Scheme, and introduced Starter Homes (SH) pilot projects to enrich the housing ladder. We have also raised the share of public housing in new housing supply from 60% to 70%; delinked the selling prices of subsidised sale flats (SSFs) from market prices and set the prices at an affordable level; entrusted the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) with the social mission of assisting the Government in providing SH; and revised the land premium arrangement for the subsidised housing projects of the Hong Kong Housing Society (HKHS) to enable the provision of more public housing units by the HKHS. For families waiting for public rental housing (PRH) and residents in poor living conditions who have yet to get on the first rung of the housing ladder, the Government has committed to providing 15 000 transitional housing units within three years, launching a trial scheme to provide cash allowance for low-income families awaiting PRH allocation for a prolonged period, and conducting a study on tenancy control for subdivided units (SDUs). Some reform measures represent a breakthrough in government thinking. As the Chief Executive, sometimes I need to stand firm in the face of different opinions for a cause in which I believe: meeting Hong Kong people’s housing needs is a goal too important to forsake!