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LegCo to debate a motion on perfecting housing policy and resolving public housing need

The following is issued on behalf of the LegCo Secretariat:

     The Legislative Council (LegCo) will hold a meeting on Wednesday (November 7) at 11am in the Chamber of the LegCo Complex. During the meeting, Members will debate a motion on perfecting housing policy and resolving public housing need.

     The motion to be moved by Mr Wong Kwok-hing, states: "That the Chief Executive pointed out during his election campaign that 'housing tops the list of livelihood issues that are of public concern; it is also the bedrock of a stable society'; yet, since the new-term Government has taken office, property prices and rents in Hong Kong have been rising rather than declining, making it more difficult for people to acquire homes; besides, as the quantitative easing measures implemented by many countries have led to a huge influx of hot money, property prices in Hong Kong may become further out of tune with people's incomes, making the housing problem more severe; in this connection, this Council urges the Government to expeditiously put forward effective measures focusing on planning for immediate, medium-term and long-term demands, so as to address people's housing needs; the relevant measures should include:

(a) to expeditiously formulate and announce Hong Kong's long-term housing development strategy and the implementation timetable, so as to let members of the public know the future supply of public and private residential units and put their minds at ease;

(b) to examine the Government's existing land reserve, including the overall reserve of potential sites and disposed sites, and to expeditiously undertake planning for the construction of public and subsidised housing on lands suitable for residential purposes, with a view to increasing housing supply;

(c) to explain to members of the public the land use status of the idle residential land lots in the land reserve, including those of the MTR Corporation Limited, the Urban Renewal Authority and the Government, and the relevant reasons, and to immediately launch long-term planning for the supply of residential land;

(d) to expeditiously inform members of the public of the policy details, implementation particulars, arrangements and implementation timetable relating to 'Hong Kong property for Hong Kong residents';

(e) to increase the annual public rental housing (PRH) production to 30 000 units or more for accelerating the time for allocating units to the existing applicants on the Waiting List to two years, so as to meet grass-root people's demand for PRH;

(f) to expedite the construction of youth hostel units for diverting the large number of young people currently waiting for PRH, and at the same time to review the Quota and Points System for non-elderly one-person applicants, so as to assist singletons with genuine housing difficulties in getting PRH allocation;

(g) to introduce sandwich-class PRH units to enable those households and persons with incomes slightly above the PRH eligibility criteria but without the ability to enter the private market to apply for renting such units subject to certain conditions and time limits, so as to alleviate their rental pressure;

(h) to review the allocation and eligibility criteria of PRH to encourage young family members to live with their elderly family members and to provide care for them;

(i) to offer rent allowance to low-income persons, including expeditiously reviewing and increasing the rent allowance under the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Scheme, providing rent allowance to eligible households waiting for PRH and offering a tax allowance to eligible households with no property for renting private residential units;

(j) to study and introduce more measures to assist people in acquiring their homes, including enhancing the former Home Starter Loan Scheme and the Tenants Purchase Scheme, so as to enable more members of the public to acquire their own homes; and

(k) to closely monitor the impacts of the economic environment and external factors, and introduce more adjustment measures whenever the hot money flows in and the property prices continue to rise, including increasing the effectiveness of the special stamp duty and revising the loan-to-value ratio for non-owner-occupied units, so as to avoid the formation of a property bubble."

     Mr Lee Cheuk-yan, Mr Leung Che-cheung, Mr Gary Fan, Mr Michael Tien, Dr Lo Wai-kwok, Mr James Tien and Dr Kwok Ka-ki will move separate amendments to Mr Wong Kwok-hing's motion.

     Ms Cyd Ho will move a motion on equal rights for people of different sexual orientations. The motion, states: "That this Council urges the Government to expeditiously launch public consultation on enacting legislation to safeguard equal opportunities for and the basic rights of people of different sexual orientations."

     Mrs Regina Ip, Mr Chung Kwok-pan, Mr Gary Fan and Mr Chan Chi-chuen will move separate amendments to Ms Cyd Ho's motion.

     Meanwhile, Mr Ronny Tong will move a proposed resolution under section 34(4) of the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance to extend the period for amending the Solicitors¡¦ Accounts (Amendment) Rules 2012, the Accountant's Report (Amendment) Rules 2012, the Solicitors (Professional Indemnity) (Amendment) Rules 2012, the Solicitors' Practice (Amendment) Rules 2012 and the Foreign Lawyers Practice (Amendment) Rules 2012 laid on the table of the LegCo on  October 17, 2012, to the meeting of December 5, 2012.

     Mr Ronny Tong will also move a motion under Rule 49E(2) of the Rules of Procedure.  The motion, states: "That this Council takes note of Report No. 2/12-13 of the House Committee laid on the table of the Council on November 7, 2012 in relation to the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance (Public Pleasure Grounds) (Amendment of Fourth Schedule) (No. 2) Order 2012."

     Members will ask the Administration 20 questions on various policy areas, six of which require oral replies.

     The agenda of the above meeting can be obtained via the LegCo website ( Please note that the agenda is subject to change, and the latest information about the agenda could be found in the LegCo website.

     Members of the public are welcome to observe the proceedings of the meeting from the public galleries of the Chamber of the LegCo Complex. They may reserve seats by calling 3919 3399 during office hours. Seats will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. Members of the public can also watch or listen to the meeting via the web broadcast system on the LegCo homepage.

Ends/Monday, November 5, 2012
Issued at HKT 17:32


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