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Hong Kong Housing Authority estimated public rental housing allocation for 2017-18
The following is issued on behalf of the Hong Kong Housing Authority:

     The Subsidised Housing Committee (SHC) of the Hong Kong Housing Authority (HA) today (June 16) approved the estimated public rental housing (PRH) allocation for 2017-18 (see Table) and was briefed on the actual allocation in 2016-17.   

     It was originally estimated that 33 800 flats could be allocated in 2016-17 and the actual allocation (i.e. the number of housing offers accepted and flats taken up by applicants in or before March 2017) turned out to be 33 756 flats, achieving a target rate of almost 100 per cent.

     "This was mainly because all new flats estimated to be completed in the year were all on schedule and could be made available for allocation, and the number of refurbished flats recovered in the year was also close to the estimated figure," a spokesman for the HA said.

     "In 2017-18, it is estimated that a total of 25 400 PRH flats, comprising 11 100 new flats and 14 300 refurbished flats, will be available for allocation. Among them, 18 030 flats (i.e. more than 70 per cent) will be reserved for PRH applicants," the spokesman said.

     The annual allocation quota for non-elderly one-person applicants under the Quota and Points System (QPS) is set at 10 per cent of the total number of flats to be allocated to PRH applicants, subject to a cap of 2 200 flats. Accordingly, 1 803 flats are estimated to be allocated to QPS applicants in 2017-18.

     "However, if the actual supply of flats turns out to be less than our estimation, allocating 1 803 flats to QPS applicants will exceed 10 per cent of the total number of flats to be allocated to PRH applicants. Hence, we will closely monitor the actual supply of flats during the allocation process, and will keep the number of flats allocated to QPS applicants to not more than 10 per cent of the total number of flats to be allocated to PRH applicants," the spokesman said. 

     A total of 270 flats are estimated for rehousing residents affected by clearance projects planned by different departments and the Urban Renewal Authority's redevelopment projects.

     "For planning purposes, 2 000 flats will be reserved for Compassionate Rehousing in 2017-18. This figure is not an upper limit, and where resources permit we will follow the established policy to handle all demands for rehousing as recommended by the Social Welfare Department," the spokesman said.

     An estimated number of 3 600 flats will be set aside for various transfer purposes in 2017-18. Among them, 1 000 flats will be used for transfer of under-occupation households, since large flats thus recovered can be deployed for easing the pressing demand of applicants with four or more household members. Additionally, a total of 1 000 flats will be reserved for applicants under the Territory-wide Overcrowding Relief Transfer Exercise and the Living Space Improvement Transfer Scheme.

     The remaining flats will be flexibly deployed for other transfer purposes, including the Harmonious Families Transfer Scheme, the conversion programme of Housing for Senior Citizens, and Special Transfer for individual tenants on medical and/or social grounds.

     "The quota for Civil Servants will be increased to 1 500 in 2017-18, which includes a quota of 1 300 flats from the approved annual increase by 100 flats for four consecutive years from 2015-16 to 2018-19 in the Civil Service Public Housing Quota (CSPHQ), and a special one-off quota of 200 flats, as endorsed last year by the SHC, for eligible unsuccessful last-time applicants in the disciplined services up to the 2015-16 exercise under the CSPHQ," the spokesman said.

     "We will closely monitor any changes in the circumstances and will remain flexible in the allocation of PRH flats to ensure optimisation of resources," he added.

     Meanwhile, to further extend the outreach of the Reverse Mortgage Programme (RMP) launched by the Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation Limited (HKMC), the SHC today also approved the inclusion of the HKMC Mortgage Management Limited (HMML), a wholly owned subsidiary of the HKMC, as an additional lender under the RMP. In the future, in addition to the existing participating banks under the RMP, eligible elderly owners of the HA's subsidised sale flats with premium not yet paid will be able to enter into reverse mortgage with the HMML through referral banks.

     "Since October 2016, the RMP of the HKMC has been extended to the HA's subsidised sale flats with premium not yet paid. Eligible elderly owners can enter into reverse mortgage with participating banks under the RMP.  Since the proposal will allow elderly owners of subsidised sale flats to gain easier access to the RMP and will have no financial implications for the HA, the SHC has approved the proposal." the spokesman said. 

     The HKMC and the HA will finalise relevant details with a view to commencing implementation in the second half of 2017.
Ends/Friday, June 16, 2017
Issued at HKT 18:10
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