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LCQ12: Small house policy
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Following is a question by the Hon Lee Wing-tat and a written reply by the Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, in the Legislative Council today (December 1):

Question:

     Regarding small house policy, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of indigenous villagers in Hong Kong as at the end of October 2010, with a breakdown by District Council (DC) district, and among those villagers, the respective numbers of male and female;

(b) among the male indigenous villagers iní@(a), as at the end of October 2010:

(i) of the number of those for whom approval was given by the Government to construct small houses on private land, or on Government land with concessionary premiums or by way of Private Treaty Grant;

(ii) of the respective numbers of those who have applied to the Government but have not yet given approval for the construction of small houses on private land, and on Government land with concessionary premiums or by way of Private Treaty Grant; and

(iii) whether it knows, among the indigenous villagers who have not made the aforesaid applications, the respective numbers of those who belong to various age groups, that is, below 18, 18 to 25, over 25 to 35, over 35 to 45, over 45 to 55 and above 55;

(c) among the cases in (b)(i), of the number of small houses whose owners have applied to the Government for payment of additional premiums (payment of premiums) so as to sell or transfer these properties to non-indigenous villagers, and among such cases, the number of those approved and the amount involved in the payment of premiums; the number of applications not yet approved, and the average waiting time for vetting and approving such applications; the number of small houses whose owners have not applied for payment of premiums; the number of applications for payment of premiums received and approved by the Government and the amount of the payment of premiums in each of the past five years;

(d) whether it knows, among those cases approved by the Government for payment of premiums in (c), the number of small houses that have been sold or transferred, and the number of those that are yet to be sold or transferred;

(e) among the cases in (b)(ii), of the number of applications received, and the number of applications approved in the past five years, as well as the average waiting time for vetting and approving such applications, with a breakdown by DC district; and

(f) of the estimated number of applications for small houses that can be approved by the authorities in the next five years?

Reply:

President,

My reply to the six-part question is as follows -
 
(a) The Government does not have the relevant statistics.

(b) (i) Since the implementation of the New Territories Small House Policy in December 1972, Lands Department had approved 35,559 small house applications (including applications for private treaty grant) up to the end of October 2010.

(ii) As at the end of October 2010, a total of 9,862 small house applications (including applications for private treaty grant) are being processed and have not yet been approved.

(iii) The Government does not have the relevant statistics.

(c) Since the implementation of the New Territories Small House Policy up to the end of October 2010, a total of 10,572 applications for premium assessment have been approved involving total premiums of some 8,188 millions.  The New Territories District Lands Offices (NTDLOs) of Lands Department are currently handling 175 applications for premium assessment.  In general, NTDLOs will take about 40 working days to complete the processing of an application for premium assessment.  The Government does not have the relevant statistics on the number of eligible small house owners who have not yet applied for premium assessment.  For the recent five financial years, the number of approved applications for premium assessment and the amount of premiums collected each year are set out in Table 1.

(d) The Government does not have the relevant statistics.

(e) The Government does not have the relevant statistics by District Council district.  For the recent five financial years, the number of small house applications received and approved by the NTDLOs of Lands Department are set out in Table 2.

     As regards the processing time for approval of small house applications, for straightforward cases, it will take about 24 weeks from the date of interview with the applicant to the date of execution.  For non-straightforward cases (such as those associated with local objections, land title or boundary problems or prerequisite requirements imposed by other regulatory authorities that need to be settled), a longer processing time may be needed.  The actual processing time will depend on the nature and complexity of the issues relating to the case.

(f) For the coming five years, Lands Department forecasts that some 1,200 small house applications will be approved each year.

Ends/Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Issued at HKT 16:14

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