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CCF launches "One-off Living Subsidy for Low-income Households Not Living in Public Housing and Not Receiving CSSA"

The following is issued on behalf of the Community Care Fund Secretariat:

     The Community Care Fund (CCF) today (December 2) rolled out the "One-off Living Subsidy for Low-income Households Not Living in Public Housing and Not Receiving CSSA" assistance programme (the Programme) to relieve the financial pressure of low-income households.

     The beneficiaries of the two CCF programmes rolled out earlier, namely the "Subsidy for Low-income Elderly Tenants in Private Housing" and the "Subsidy for Low-income Persons who are Inadequately Housed" (the existing programmes), are also included as targeted beneficiaries of the Programme. The CCF Secretariat will first verify the eligibility of households that have benefited under the existing programmes this month, while new applications will be accepted starting from January 2, 2014 in phases. The Programme's application deadline is August 29, 2014. A total of 247 service units as operated by non-governmental organisations will assist in implementing the Programme.

     The Chairperson of the Community Care Fund Task Force under the Commission on Poverty, Dr Law Chi-kwong, held a press briefing to announce application arrangements for the Programme today. He said, "The CCF has set aside around $640 million to implement the Programme. The amount of subsidy is $3,500 for one-person households, $7,000 for two-person households, and a uniform $10,000 for three-or-more-person households. It is estimated that 78 700 households (or over 210 000 persons) will benefit."

     Beneficiaries should currently be renting accommodation in private housing, industrial or commercial buildings on a monthly basis (or for longer tenures); or renting bedspaces offered under the Home Affairs Department's Singleton Hostel Programme; residing in temporary housing; or living on board vessels; or homeless persons. Their monthly income must not exceed the specified limits. They should not be receiving Comprehensive Social Security Assistance or own any property in Hong Kong. For those renting accommodation in private housing, industrial or commercial buildings, their monthly rent should not exceed the specified rental limits. The specified income and rental limits are as follows:

Household size    Household income        Rental
  (persons)          limit ($)            limit ($)
--------------    ----------------        ---------
      1                8,880                 4,440
      2               13,750                 6,875
      3               18,310                 9,155
      4               22,140                11,070
      5               25,360                12,680
      6 or above      28,400                14,200

     To simplify the procedures for the old application households of the two existing programmes above, they are not required to submit an application again. These households will receive a notification for confirming eligibility (notification) from the Secretariat early this month. Households who meet the eligibility criteria of the Programme should complete the reply slip attached to the notification and return it to the Secretariat to confirm their eligibility before the end of the application period.

     Upon verification, the Secretariat will send a notification of eligibility verification result to these households. The Secretariat will arrange to disburse the subsidy to beneficiaries according to their chosen method under the existing Programmes (i.e. either through direct payment into bank account or order cheque).

     However, if there are changes in the situations of old application households (such as new eligible members or change of applicant) they are required to submit a new application under the Programme. Such households should also complete the relevant parts of the reply slip and return it to the Secretariat. The relevant service units will contact the households directly to follow up on their cases.

     New application households are required to submit their applications in phases having regard to their household size from January 2, 2014. The arrangements are as follows:

From January 2, 2014 onwards
New applications are accepted from one-person households

From February 4, 2014 onwards
New applications are accepted from two-person households

From March 3, 2014 onwards
New applications are accepted from three-or-more-person households
(i.e. new applications are accepted from all eligible households (irrespective of household size))

     Dr Law said, "Since the expected number of beneficiaries is large, households are required to submit their applications in phases according to their respective household size in order to ease the flow of new applications. The application period of the Programme will last until August 29 next year, households have ample time to submit their applications and there is no urgency to submit the applications at the start of each phase."

     New application households should submit their applications to the service units. Households with elderly people only (i.e. all members in the household are aged 65 or above), households with young people only (i.e. all members in the household are aged 24 or below) or homeless people can submit applications to elderly service units, youth service units or service units accepting applications from homeless people respectively.

      The CCF Secretariat and the service units will vet each application, including verifying the eligibility, checking the supporting documents submitted, and conducting visits/home visits and income tests on selected applications. The Secretariat will issue a notification of application result after vetting the applications and disburse the subsidy to eligible households. If households choose to receive the subsidy through direct payment into bank accounts, the subsidy will be deposited into the bank accounts as specified in their application forms. For households who choose to receive the subsidy in the form of order cheques, the specified applicants should bring along their Hong Kong identity card and collect the cheques in person at the service units.

     Old application households are urged to pay attention to the notifications sent by the Secretariat that will be received early this month. New application households can obtain the application form and programme brief from service units, Public Enquiry Service Centres of the Home Affairs Department, District Social Welfare Offices of the Social Welfare Department and the Support Service Centres for Ethnic Minorities, or download them from the CCF website ( starting from January 2 next year.

     For details of the Programme, please visit the CCF website or call the Secretariat hotline on 2180 6666.

Ends/Monday, December 2, 2013
Issued at HKT 14:40


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