LCQ5: Supply of public rental housing on Hong Kong Island

     Following is a question by the Hon Wong Kwok-hing and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung, in the Legislative Council today (April 17):


     Among the 75 000 public rental housing (PRH) units planned to be built by the Transport and Housing Bureau in the coming five years, only about 200 units will be located on Hong Kong Island, which are insufficient to meet the demand.  It has been reported that the authorities are studying the feasibility of building PRH on a number of sites on Hong Kong Island, including a number of vacant sites in the western part of Kennedy Town, the sites of the temporary campus of the Hong Kong Academy at Ka Wai Man Road and the adjacent former Police Married Quarters, as well as the site of the former Mount Davis cottage area.  The Hong Kong Housing Authority is also examining the feasibility of redeveloping Wah Fu Estate.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of PRH units on Hong Kong Island allocated to PRH applicants in each of the past three years; apart from the aforesaid sites, of the sites on Hong Kong Island which are being examined by the authorities for building PRH, as well as these sites' respective locations, areas and numbers of PRH units to be provided;

(b) of the progress and anticipated completion time for the feasibility studies on building PRH on the aforesaid sites; whether there are construction timetables at present, as well as these sites' respective areas and numbers of PRH units to be provided; and

(c) of the progress and anticipated completion time for the feasibility study on the redevelopment of Wah Fu Estate; whether there is a redevelopment timetable at present; whether any sites will be earmarked for rehousing the residents affected by the redevelopment; if so, of the locations and areas of such sites; if not, the reasons for that?

Reply :


     To address the strong demand for public rental housing (PRH), the Government is fully committed to implement the Public Housing Construction Programme proactively.  According to the Hong Kong Housing Authority (HA)'s latest Public Housing Construction Programme, there will be a total PRH production of about 79 000 flats in the five-year period starting from 2012/13.  Beyond this, we have decided to increase the PRH production with a target of at least 100 000 units for the five years starting from 2018.

     My reply to the questions raised by the Hon Wong Kwok-hing is as follows:

(a) and (b) In the past three financial years, the total number of PRH units on Hong Kong Island allocated to Waiting List applicants is 2 700, including around 1 250 new flats in Chai Wan Estate.

     In the "Land Use Review of the Western Part of Kennedy Town" Study, the site comprising the Hong Kong Academy School Premises and Ex-Kennedy Town Police Married Quarters at Ka Wai Man Road, and Ex-Mount Davis Cottage Area is proposed for public housing development.  Planning Department together with relevant departments will soon consult the Central & Western District Council on this land use review.  Meanwhile, the Housing Authority (HA) is assessing the technical feasibility (including the development programme and flat production) of developing this site for public housing use.  The District Council and locals will be consulted when appropriate.

(c) The HA has a Comprehensive Structural Investigation Programme (CSIP).  So far, 42 estates aged 30 years and above have been included in the CSIP.  Wah Fu Estate was included in the CSIP in 2005, and based on its structural condition at the time, it was identified as one that would be retained.  The HA investigates the structural conditions of all PRH estates that have undergone comprehensive structural investigation and are retained on a 15-year cycle.

     To better assess the redevelopment potential of aged estates, the HA endorsed the "Refined Policy on Redevelopment of Aged Public Rental Housing Estates" in 2011.  According to this, in considering clearance and redevelopment of aged estates, the HA will refer to the findings of the CSIP on structural safety, the cost effectiveness in repair works, and will also examine the redevelopment potential and availability of suitable rehousing resources.  By reviewing the specific site characteristics and developable area in the vicinity of individual estates, the HA will conduct a series of detailed studies including various technical and environmental impact assessments, local master planning, urban design and development intensity, etc.  HA will also liaise with relevant bureaux and government departments on issues relating to the community, social welfare, transport and educational facilities, etc in the districts concerned.  Only after the completion of these assessments can the HA take a view on the feasibility of redeveloping an estate and to draw up suitable implementation programmes accordingly.  At present, there is no plan to redevelop Wah Fu Estate.  

     When drawing up redevelopment plans for aged estates, consideration would be given by the HA to rehouse the affected tenants to suitable PRH estates.  Where resources permit, we will try to meet the aspirations of the affected tenants for local rehousing within the same district or rehousing to other districts according to their preferences.

Ends/Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Issued at HKT 12:31