The following is issued on behalf of the Housing Authority:
About 45,000 public rental housing (PRH) units will be allocated to eligible families in 2002/03, over half of which are earmarked for applicants on the Waiting List (WL).
The Rental Housing Committee (RHC) of the Housing Authority today (May 27) agreed to set the WL quota for 2002/03 at 26,000 flats, the second highest allocation in recent years to last year's peak of 28,050. (see table one).
In addition, a quota of 600 has earlier been set under the Rent Allowance for Elderly Scheme (RAES) for eligible elderly applicants on the WL to rent private accommodations in districts of their choice.
The Chairman of the RHC, Mr Ng Shiu-lai, said that any surplus flats not taken up by other rehousing categories would be added to the WL quota. "We are confident that the average waiting time can be shortened to three years by 2003 as pledged, or even ahead of schedule."
Of the 45,000 flats available for allocation to various categories this year, about 26,000 are new while 19,000 are refurbished flats.
As four projects under the Comprehensive Redevelopment Programme are to be completed in 2002/03, 5,600 rental flats will be set aside for the redevelopment quota, including 100 flats for those affected by major repair works.
Various clearance operations including the Urban Renewal Authority's projects are expected to take up 1,700 flats, among them 200 will be for the trawling exercise in Interim Housing blocks in order to recover units to meet the demand from those not eligible for PRH.
In addition, 3,500 flats will be provided for the transfer needs and 4,500 flats for overcrowding relief of PRH tenants. Compassionate rehousing is expected to take up 2,000 flats while emergency rehousing, another 100.
Allocation to Estate Assistants holding Letters of Assurance is also set at 100, which is half of last year's quota on account of diminishing demand.
As was set last year, the quota to junior civil servants and pensioners will be 1,500 PRH flats. The RHC decided that the quota will remain the same for 2003/04. This is in line with the current practice of setting a quota for the next year to allow Government departments time to process applications in the current year.
Meanwhile, the RHC also endorsed that the best rents of all districts be maintained at the current level up to December 2002 and fixed the rents of 7,127 flats in six estates due for completion between July to December 2002.
The rents for the five blocks in Po Tat Estate Phase 1, Tai Hang Tung Estate, Lei Yue Mun Phase 1 and Sheung Tak Estate were set at the respective district best rent levels.
Rents for 13 blocks in High Prosperity Terrace and Grandeur Terrace, which have been transferred from two Private Sector Participation Scheme projects were fixed at 10% above the best rents of the districts concerned in view of their higher standard of finishes and fittings. (see table two)
Mr Ng stressed that tenants' affordability remains the principal criterion in fixing rent, adding that PRH are heavily subsidized and rents are inclusive of rates and management costs.
Allocation of Public Rental Flats
Rehousing Category No. of Flats No. of Flats
for Allocation for Allocation
in 2001/2002 in 2002/2003
(a)Squatter Clearance 970 500
(b)Urban Renewal Authority 200 1,000
(c)THA/Cottage Area Clearance 380 0
(d)IH Trawling 200 200
and Major Repairs 15,200 5,600
WAITING LIST 28,050 26,600
COMPASSIONATE 2,000 2,000
TRANSFERS 7,000 8,000
EMERGENCY 100 100
(a)Junior Civil Servants
& Pensioners 1,500 1,500
Letters of Assurance
by Estate Assistants 200 100
Total 55,800* 45,600**
* Including 1,284 units for Buy or Rent Option (BRO)
Scheme for Waiting List, Squatter/THA Clearances,
Comprehensive Redevelopment and Civil Servants.
** Including a quota of 600 for the RAES.
Rents for the Six Estates
Estate/Court District Inclusive Rent
Po Tat Estate Phase 1 Urban $63.4
Tai Hang Tung Estate Urban $63.4
Lei Yue Mun Phase 1 Urban $63.4
Sheung Tak Estate Tseung Kwan O $55.4
High Prosperity Terrace Kwai Chung $67.3
Grandeur Terrace Tin Shui Wai $46.4
End/Monday, May 27, 2002