Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
LCQ11: The Tenants Purchase Scheme

     Following is a question by the Hon Wong Kwok-kin and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Ms Eva Cheng, in the Legislative Council meeting today (January 11):


     The authorities implemented the Tenants Purchase Scheme (TPS) to assist public rental housing (PRH) tenants in purchasing their own homes from 1998 to 2002.  Quite a number of PRH tenants have relayed to me that they wish the authorities would re-launch TPS, and they also pointed out that it was rumoured at that time that their residing PRH estates had been included in TPS by the authorities, but this was dropped due to a change in the Government's housing policies in November 2002.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the total number of residents in each of the 39 public housing estates with flats sold under TPS at present, and the respective numbers and percentages of persons residing in rental flats and ownership flats;

(b) of the number of ownership flats in each TPS estate which had been resold in the past five years; the percentage of such number in the total number of ownership flats in that estate; whether any of these flats had been resold more than once; if so, of the number of such flats and the times they had been resold;

(c) in November 2002, when the then Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands announced the "Statement on Housing Policies" of the Government, apart from Phase 6 TPS which was launched in 2003, of the number of PRH estates which had been included in TPS but yet to be officially announced or of which the studies on the sale of these estates had commenced, together with a list of the names and types of such estates and the years in which they were originally scheduled for sale; and

(d) given that quite a number of residents claimed that they were willing to accept flat allocation at or transfer to new PRH estates of higher rental at that time mainly because it was rumoured and some staff of the Housing Department even hinted that the authorities would sell the flats of the estates concerned, but their hope of home ownership was dashed due to the subsequent change in government policies, whether the authorities will consider selling the PRH flats which had been included in TPS at that time but yet to be announced or the PRH flats on which preparatory studies on the sale of them had commenced, so that residents who have moved into such flats with the hope of home ownership through TPS can purchase the flats they live in; if not, of the reasons for that?



     The Hong Kong Housing Authority (HA) introduced the Tenants Purchase Scheme (TPS) in 1998 to enable public rental housing (PRH) tenants to buy their flats at discounted prices, thereby helping to achieve the then policy objective of attaining a home ownership rate of 70% in 10 years' time.

     In 2002, the Government re-positioned the housing policy and decided to continue with the provision of PRH to low-income families who cannot afford private rental accommodation, with a target of maintaining the average waiting time (AWT) for general Waiting List (WL) applicants for PRH at around three years.  The target home ownership rate was dropped.  In line with this policy, the HA decided to halt the TPS.

     My answer to the four-part question is as follows:

(a) According to the record of the Housing Department (HD), there were 176 000 authorised persons living in the rental flats of TPS estates as at end September 2011.  Relevant statistics are at Annex A.  We do not have overall statistics on those residing in the sold flats of TPS estates.

(b) In the past five years, among the 39 TPS estates, the transaction volume among the sold flats varies between 370 to 600 transactions per year, including transactions under the Secondary Market and the Open Market.  Relevant statistics are at Annex B.  We do not have a breakdown of statistics by individual flats and the number of times that the flats were resold.

(c) and (d) When the TPS was launched, the HD conducted research into the feasibility of putting up PRH estates for sale in order to draw up proposals for consideration by the HA.  Upon submission of proposals on sale arrangements and subsequent approval by the HA, the sale arrangements, including the list of estates to be included in the TPS, were then publicised.  In line with the Government policy, the HA later decided to cease the sale of PRH flats under the TPS except for those under Phases 6A and 6B which had already been approved and announced.  The HD also ceased studies into the feasibility of putting up other PRH estates for sale.

     Recovered PRH flats are an important source of supply for WL applicants.  PRH flats, once sold to the tenants, cannot be reallocated, thereby affecting the turnover and supply of PRH flats and undermining the HA's ability to maintain the AWT of general WL applicants at around three years.  There are currently over 165 000 WL applications for PRH.  Any measure that affects PRH allocation by the HA to WL applicants is undesirable.

     Moreover, since the introduction of the TPS, the management of some estates has become complicated.  The HA's estate management policies cannot be fully implemented in the TPS estates, resulting in tenants of the TPS and PRH estates being subject to regulation under different sets of management measures.  This is an unsatisfactory situation.  For example, the Marking Scheme for Estate Management Enforcement in Public Housing Estates is not implemented in the common areas of the TPS estates at present.  The HA can only deal with the misdeeds committed in rental flats, and hence cannot exercise comprehensive and effective control over the environmental hygiene of the TPS estates.

     In view of the above reasons, we do not intend to re-launch the TPS.  That said, under the current policy, the sitting tenants of the TPS estates can still opt to buy the flats in which they are residing.  PRH residents who are interested in home ownership may also buy TPS and Home Ownership Scheme flats under the Secondary Market where the premium of flats has not yet been paid.

Ends/Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Issued at HKT 12:21


Print this page