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LCQ12: Compassionate rehousing for divorcees

     Following is a question by the Hon Leung Yiu-chung and a written reply by the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, in the Legislative Council today (May 11):


     Will the Government inform this Council of:

(a) the number of people who had sought assistance from the Social Welfare Department in the past five years (from 2006-2007 to 2010-2011) because of problems relating to their divorces; and

(b) among the people seeking assistance in (a), the respective numbers of those who had been recommended by the authorities to the Housing Department for "compassionate rehousing" and those who had been successfully rehoused, as well as the respective reasons for offering and not offering rehousing to them?



(a) The figures on new/reactivated cases with separation/divorce problem handled by the Integrated Family Service Centres operated by the Social Welfare Department (SWD)/non-governmental organisations for assistance are set out below -

        2006-   2007-   2008-   2009-   (April
Year    07      08      09      10      September)
----    -----   -----   -----   -----   ----------
of new/
cases   1 992   1 685   1 695   1 742   797

(b) Divorce cases requiring assistance usually involve problems of different nature such as emotional distress, childcare, financial hardship, and accommodation problem, etc.  For individuals or families on divorce proceedings with genuine and pressing housing needs, such as those facing undue hardship in continuing to stay in the same unit with the party with whom a divorce is being contemplated but are unable to secure an alternative abode by themselves, social workers will consider recommending eligible applicants (i.e. people who have filed bona-fide petitions for divorce to the court but the divorce proceedings are not yet finalised) for Compassionate Rehousing (CR) to the Housing Department (HD) for consideration of allocating public rental housing units (PRHs) in the form of Conditional Tenancy (CT) under the CR Scheme.

     The number of cases involving divorce and recommended to HD for applications of CT in the past five years is as follows-

        2006-   2007-   2008-   2009-   2010-
Year    07      08      09      10      11
----    -----   -----   -----   -----   -----
Cases   511     416     491     464     477

     Of the above recommended cases for CT by SWD in the past five years, 92% were allocated PRHs.  The remaining 8% were not allocated PRHs owing to such reasons as withdrawal of applications by the applicants, and loss of trace of applicants, etc.

Ends/Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Issued at HKT 11:31


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