Outcome of third rent review for public rental housing

The following is issued on behalf of the Hong Kong Housing Authority:

     The Subsidised Housing Committee of the Hong Kong Housing Authority (HA) today (July 4) endorsed a report compiled by the Commissioner for Census and Statistics (C for C&S) for the third rent review for public rental housing (PRH) in accordance with section 16A of the Housing Ordinance. The report shows that the income index of the second period under the third PRH rent review was higher than that for the first period by 19.27 per cent. The index was compiled by comparing the income of about 24 000 PRH households in 2011 and 2013.

     According to section 16A(4)(a) of the Housing Ordinance, the HA shall adjust the PRH rent by the rate of change of the income index, with an increase capped at 10 per cent.

     "In accordance with the findings of the report and the stipulation in the Housing Ordinance, a PRH rent adjustment of +10 per cent will be effected from September 1, 2014. The amount of increase will be $154 per month on average, ranging from $28 to $387 per month. PRH tenants will be notified one month in advance of their new rent levels," a spokesman for the HA said.

     The Housing Ordinance stipulates the rent adjustment mechanism for PRH, which came into effect in 2008. Under this rent adjustment mechanism, tenants' affordability is the factor used to determine PRH rent. The mechanism provides an objective basis for the HA to determine when and by how much PRH rent should be adjusted.

     Under the mechanism, a review of the PRH rent will be conducted every two years. Section 16A(7)(b) of the Housing Ordinance specifies that the C for C&S shall compute the income index for the first and second periods under a rent review. The first and second rent review exercises were completed in 2010 and 2012 respectively. For the third rent review, the first period is the 12 months in 2011, and the second period is the 12 months in 2013.

     "The Housing Department stands ready to help those PRH tenants who are in need to apply for the Rent Assistance Scheme, under which the eligible tenants would receive a 25 per cent or 50 per cent rent reduction," the spokesman added.

Ends/Friday, July 4, 2014
Issued at HKT 15:33