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2017 Policy Address by Chief Executive (5)
V.  Housing and Land Use


Housing Demand

76. Expediting and increasing supply is the ultimate solution to various housing-related issues.  On private housing, the projected supply of first-hand residential properties for the coming three to four years was 94 000 units at end-December last year.  This is 45% higher than the figure at the beginning of the current-term Government, and a record high since the regular release of supply statistics 12 years ago.

77. For the five-year period from 2016-17, estimated public housing production by the Hong Kong Housing Authority and the Hong Kong Housing Society will be about 94 500 units, including about 71 800 public rental housing (PRH) units and about 22 600 subsidised sale flats.

78. According to the latest projection, the housing supply target for the next decade from 2017-18 is 460 000 units, including 200 000 PRH units and 80 000 subsidised sale flats.  However, land supply for public housing still lags and the waiting time for PRH units has increased notably.  If the Government and the community do not resolve to expedite the identification of land for housing production, the housing problem will remain a tough nut to crack.

Land Supply

79. Our efforts in the past few years are beginning to deliver results.  Yet, we must keep up these efforts.  In the short to medium term, by way of changing existing land uses and increasing development intensity, which involve some 210 housing sites identified through land use reviews, Kai Tak Development Area, Diamond Hill Comprehensive Development Area, reuse of three quarry sites, railway property developments, urban renewal projects, etc., a total of over 380 000 residential units can be provided.  In the medium to long term, various new development areas (NDAs) and new town extensions (including Kwu Tung North and Fanling North NDAs, Tung Chung New Town Extension, Hung Shui Kiu NDA and Yuen Long South Development), as well as potential railway property development projects being planned (including Siu Ho Wan Depot and Pat Heung Depot), can provide over 220 000 residential units and over 8.6 million square metres of commercial and industrial floor area.  In sum, the various short, medium and long-term land supply initiatives can provide over 600 000 housing units in total.

Short to Medium-term Programmes

Government Land Sales, Railway Property Development and Private Housing Land Supply

80. Land put up for sale by the Government in the five financial years from 2012-13 to 2016-17 has a capacity to produce about 51 100 units, more than double that of the previous five financial years.

81. It is estimated that private housing land supply in the current financial year is capable of producing over 19 000 units, exceeding the annual target for the third consecutive year.

82. With the collaboration of the current-term Government and the Mass Transit Railway Corporation Limited (MTRCL), the 15 projects successfully tendered so far are capable of providing about 23 900 units, serving as another major source of supply in addition to land sale by the Government.  The remaining committed short and medium-term railway property development projects pending tender are capable of providing about 14 000 units.

Reviewing Land Use and Increasing Development Intensity

83. Reviewing the existing land use and appropriately increasing development intensity are effective for the short to medium terms.

84. Since taking office, I have announced in my Policy Addresses a number of measures to increase land supply, involving about 190 potential housing sites.  By mid-January this year, nearly half of these (i.e. 93 sites) had been rezoned or made available for housing development.  Another 21 are being rezoned.  Furthermore, through our on-going land use reviews, together with some newly identified potential housing sites, it is estimated that some 25 additional housing sites, capable of producing over 60 000 units (of which over 80% are public housing units), can be made available for housing development, most of which in the five years from 2019-20 to 2023-24, provided that the relevant statutory plans can be amended and the procedures completed in time.

85. Regarding development intensity, from mid-2012 to the end of last year, the Town Planning Board approved applications to relax the development intensity of 44 housing sites, which will lead to an additional supply of about 8 640 units.

Kai Tak Development Area and Other Urban Development Projects

86. The Government has recently completed a review to further increase the development intensity and enhance the site planning of the Kai Tak Development Area.  A total of some 16 000 additional residential flats and about 400 000 square metres of commercial floor area will be provided in two phases.

87. The Government continues to take forward two planning and engineering studies related to the Kai Tak Fantasy project, and will consult the public this year on the design plan of the runway tip and the preliminary proposals for development of the Kwun Tong Action Area.

88. The current-term Government has also implemented development of the former Diamond Hill Squatter Areas (Tai Hom Village), Anderson Road Quarry and former Cha Kwo Ling Kaolin Mine, providing a total of nearly 16 000 housing units.

Urban Renewal

89. Last year, for the first time, the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) introduced a holistic and district-based approach for implementing its redevelopment projects in To Kwa Wan, so as to raise the quality of the environment and improve the road networks by enhancing the overall planning for the community.  While undertaking redevelopment, we must also explore effective ways of addressing the problem of ageing building stock.  The URA plans to conduct a district planning study for Yau Ma Tei and Mong Kok on a pilot basis.  The study aims to explore how to enhance the efficiency of existing land use and redevelopment potential of these districts.  At the same time, the URA will also conduct a study on building rehabilitation strategies to formulate appropriate and sustainable measures to prolong the life span of the buildings and explore the feasibility of "retrofitting" as a proposal for building rehabilitation.

Commercial and Economic Land Uses

90. With respect to land for commercial and other economic activities, land sale by the Government in the current financial year can provide 555 000 square metres of floor area, exceeding the aggregate supply in the preceding four financial years.

91. Land supply in Kowloon East continues to increase.  The commercial floor area in the area now amounts to over 2.3 million square metres, and is expected to further increase by about 4.7 million square metres.

(To be continued)
Ends/Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Issued at HKT 11:48
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