Press Release HKSAR Government Information Centre



Special Financial Committee: Speaking notes of Secretary for Housing


Following is the speaking notes of the Secretary for Housing, Mr Dominic Wong in the special meeting of the Finance Committee at the Legislative Council this afternoon (March 22):


Let me introduce other members of my team. They are the Director of Housing, Mr J. A. Miller, Director of Lands, Mr R. D. Pope, Director of Planning, Mr Bosco C. K. Fung and the Commissioner of Rating & Valuation, Mr Kenneth T. W. Pang.

Housing Expenditure


(A) Total public expenditure (recurrent + capital)

Total public expenditure on housing in 2001-02:

* represents 13.1 per cent of total public expenditure in 2001-02.

(B) Recurrent public expenditure on housing in 2001-02:

* represents 6.4 per cent of total recurrent public expenditure in 2001-02.

* is $13,900 million, an increase of 3.1 per cent over 2000-01.

* Comprises:

* 94.8 per cent for the expenditure of Housing Authority,

* 5.2 per cent for Government departments expenditure, an increase of $60 million or 9 per cent over 2000-01

(C) Capital public expenditure on housing in 2001-02

* represents 33.8 per cent of total public capital expenditure in 2001-02.

* Comprises:

1. 84.9 per cent for the Housing Authority,

2. 15.1 per cent for Government departments, an increase of 15.1 per cent over 2000-01, owing mainly to an increase in estimated cashflow requirements under the Home Starter Loan Scheme.

Matter of Interest: Housing Bureau Manpower


ĦE The total number of staff in the Housing Bureau in 2001-02 will be 59, a net increase of one from 2000-01.

ĦE There will be no change in the number or composition of directorate posts.

ĦE For non-directorate posts in 2001-02: one post of Data Processor will be deleted, one post of Senior Town Planner and one post of Town Planner will be created.

Matter of Interest: Special Tasks


Some task requiring special attention in 2001-02.

(A) Survey of housing aspirations

* Estimated cost of the survey is $3.4 million. Work involved in steering the consultancy will be absorbed by existing resources of the Planning Department.

* The survey will cover 12,000 households including 4,000 households with elderly persons.

* Information will be obtained on:

* Aspirations to acquire separate accommodation

* Preferences for particular types of housing

* Housing affordability (rent-to-income ratio, mortgage-to-income ratio and downpayments)

* Intention to take up residence in the Mainland of China.

The survey will be commissioned in 2001. Assuming that a consultant is selected by the end of 2001, interviews will be carried out between January and June 2002. Results will be available by the end of 2002.

(B) Home Starter Loan Scheme


Since the commencement of the Scheme, over 18,000 loans, amounting to $9.2 billion have been taken out by applicants. The remaining amount will be sufficient to fund an estimated 9,000 loans (6,000 and 3,000 loans from family and singleton applicants respectively).

We will review the effectiveness of and continuing demand for the scheme in 2001, and consult the Legislative Council Panel on Housing on the way forward later this year.

(C) Rental subsidy for the elderly


We are exploring the feasibility of providing rental subsidies in lieu of public rental housing to eligible elderly applicants on the Waiting List when their turn comes.

* Rental subsidies can provide an additional choice to eligible elderly applicants who prefer to live in districts where public rental housing flats are not available or districts of their own choice.

* Details of a pilot scheme are being developed. We will discuss proposals with the Legislative Council Panel on Housing when ready.

End/Thursday, March 22, 2001