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HA adheres to the principle of financial prudence

The following is issued on behalf of the Housing Authority:

     The Housing Authority (HA) has projected in its latest budget and forecast exercise for the period from 2011-12 to 2015-16 that it will have sufficient financial resources to implement its public housing programme.

     In accordance with the Chief Executive's 2011-12 Policy Address, the HA will be responsible for producing more than 17 000 new Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) flats over four years from 2016-17 onwards.

     As the HA is working out the implementation details, including the pricing of flats, premium arrangements and eligibility of target households, at this preliminary stage, assumptions regarding these matters about the new HOS have not been made under the current proposed budgets and forecasts.

     The Chairman of the Finance Committee (FC) of the HA, Professor Raymond So, said after the meeting for discussing the 2012-13 Proposed Budget today (January 4), "While the HA's financial position remains healthy in the short to medium term, we are fully aware of the various challenges ahead. The HA must remain vigilant and continue to closely monitor the key variables including investment returns and construction costs. During the five years from 2011-12 to 2015-16, the HA will maintain an annual production of about 15 000 public rental housing (PRH) flats on average to keep the average waiting time for general waiting list applicants at around three years."

     The HA will continue to manage its finances in a prudent manner to ensure cost-effectiveness in achieving its policy objectives, and to maintain the average waiting time for PRH at around three years to provide PRH flats to families in need.

     Today, the FC considered and endorsed the 2011-12 Revised Budget and the 2012-13 Proposed Budget. The FC also noted the 2013-14 to 2015-16 Financial Forecasts.

     The HA will definitely be mindful of the uncertain economic outlook and the various challenges ahead, and will closely monitor changes in investment returns and construction costs in particular.

     The budget will be tabled at the HA's general meeting for approval on January 19.

Ends/Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Issued at HKT 12:23


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