Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
CE's Policy Address outlines plans to boost housing, land supply

     "Increasing and expediting land supply is the fundamental solution to resolve the land and housing problems of Hong Kong," the Chief Executive, Mr C Y Leung, said today (January 14) in his annual Policy Address.

     Mr Leung said that land use reviews had identified 150 sites for residential use. He added that amendments had started on statutory plans for 45 sites.

     In addition, a few sizable sites not required for their intended use had also been converted for housing development or other uses that meet more pressing needs, with a view to achieving the Government's housing target of 480 000 public and private residential units in the next decade.

     To optimise land use, the Government will increase development intensity as appropriate. Since the inauguration of the current-term Government, the Town Planning Board has approved applications to increase the development intensity of 26 housing sites, leading to an additional supply of about 3 500 units, he said.

     The Kai Tak Development Area will provide at least 6 800 units, including 1 000 units now approved, and some 430 000 square metres of commercial floor area.

     Development of the former Diamond Hill Squatter areas and the former Cha Kwo Ling Kaolin Mine and Lamma Quarry should provide more than 8 000 public and private residential units.

     The housing site in the Anderson Road Quarry will be made available for development as early as 2019-20, offering over 9 000 public and private residential units. A land use study of the Lam Tei Quarry and its adjoining area will begin this year.

     Mr Leung said private housing land supply in 2014-15 is capable of providing more than 20 000 residential units, a record high since the Government introduced its private housing land supply target in 2010.

     The MTR Corporation recently completed planning for the property development project at West Rail Yuen Long Station, which could provide about 1 880 units. Last year, it tendered three projects capable of offering about 6 100 units.

     Plans continue for residential development at West Rail Kam Sheung Road Station and Pat Heung Maintenance Centre in Kam Tin South, which are expected to provide about 8 700 units. A preliminary land-use review of adjoining areas suggests that they can offer about 25 000 units.

     The Chief Executive said increasing commercial land supply is also a priority.

     He said the Government would continue to convert suitable sites in core business districts into commercial use. These include the multi-storey car parks at Murray Road in Central and Rumsey Street in Sheung Wan, which will provide some 76 000 square metres of floor area.

     The former Mong Kok Market site will be converted for commercial use, providing about 6 400 square metres of commercial floor area, and a government site at Caroline Hill Road will also be converted as soon as possible.

     The Chief Executive said Kowloon East has the potential to supply commercial and office floor area of about 5 million square metres.

     A preliminary study of the proposed East Lantau Metropolis, in the eastern waters off Lantau, will begin soon. The Metropolis would serve as a new core business district.

     Mr Leung said housing is "the most critical" livelihood issue facing Hong Kong. He said the Government is exploring ways to increase the supply of subsidised sale flats, engaging public or non-profit-making organisations such as the Housing Authority, the Hong Kong Housing Society (HKHS), the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) and the Hong Kong Settlers Housing Corporation. In so doing, more property choices and home ownership opportunities will be provided for low- and middle-income families.

     The Long Term Housing Strategy, released last month, has maintained a public rental housing (PRH) production target of about 20 000 units each year for the next decade.

     From 2014-15 to 2018-19, about 77 000 PRH units are expected to be completed, with about 23 000 units ready in 2015-16. The Housing Authority will put up approximately 2 700 and 2 000 Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) flats for pre-sale in 2015-16 and 2016-17 respectively. The HKHS will also offer 1 600 subsidised sale flats for pre-sale in 2016-17, of which 1 000 will be in Sha Tin. Two sites, in Tseung Kwan O and Tuen Mun, have been set aside for HKHS development of about 600 units.

     To meet the different needs of the community, the Chief Executive proposed to the Housing Authority that suitable flats should be identified among its PRH developments under construction for sale to Green Form applicants in the form of a pilot scheme, with prices set at a level lower than those of HOS flats.

     In the medium to long term, the Kwu Tung North and Fanling North New Development Areas (NDAs) will be an important source of housing and land supply. The NDAs will deliver about 60 000 residential units, of which 60 per cent will be PRH and HOS flats. The first batch of residential units will be completed in phases from 2023 onwards.

     Mr Leung said the completion of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and the Tuen Mun-Chek Lap Kok Link would position Tung Chung as a transportation hub for the Pearl River Delta and Western Guangdong. The Tung Chung New Town Extension will provide about 48 000 residential units, with a commercial hub established in Tung Chung East.

     The URA's San Shan Road/Pau Chung Street and Kwun Tong Town Centre (Development Areas 2 and 3) projects, as well as two joint-venture projects at Hai Tan Street, will provide some 2 700 units.

     A planning and engineering study will begin on the Lung Kwu Tan reclamation at Tuen Mun. The Government's plan to relocate the Sha Tin Sewage Treatment Works and three other facilities to rock caverns will free up 34 hectares of land for development. A pilot study on underground space development in four districts will begin early this year.

     The Lantau Development Advisory Committee will continue to examine economic and community development in Lantau, to capitalise on the three-runway system of the airport, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and other strategic infrastructure in the area. This year, short-term projects such as the revitalisation of Tai O and Mui Wo and the construction of mountain bike trails will be rolled out.

     The Chief Executive indicated that the current-term Government is committed to putting an end to the long-standing shortage of land supply. The Government plans to hold multi-party discussion with all sectors of the community to jointly solve the problem.

     Mr Leung said private residential property market supply for the next three to four years would be about 74 000 units, the highest on record.

     The private sector produced, on average, about 11 400 flats a year over the past five years. Over the next five years, the private sector will produce about 14 600 flats a year, an increase of about 30 per cent.

     The Government will give the Construction Industry Council $100 million to help train skilled workers for the industry, which is suffering from an acute manpower shortage.

     To give priority to local workers, a Construction Industry Recruitment Centre will be established. It will provide career counselling services, on-the-spot job interviews and job fairs for local construction workers.

     The Government will also look at how to address the keen demand for skilled workers in the construction industry, for example, by allowing imported skilled workers to work across various public sector projects to enhance flexibility of deployment, maximise productivity and effectively control costs.

Ends/Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Issued at HKT 13:12


Print this page