LCQ7: "Starter Homes" Pilot Scheme for Hong Kong Residents

     Following is a question by the Hon Regina Ip and a written reply by the Acting Secretary for Transport and Housing, Dr Raymond So Wai-man, in the Legislative Council today (December 6):


     In the Policy Address she delivered in October this year, the Chief Executive announced the introduction of the "Starter Homes" Pilot Scheme for Hong Kong Residents (Pilot Scheme). Under the Pilot Scheme, the Government will, through incorporating provisions into the land lease, require developers to pursue mixed developments, i.e. to offer, in addition to private housing units, a specified number of units for sale to persons who have never owned any property in Hong Kong and meet other prescribed eligibility criteria. The Government will, by the end of next year, select a residential site at Anderson Road on the Land Sale Programme, which is estimated to provide about 1 000 units, for use as the pilot site for the Pilot Scheme. In order to enhance the effectiveness of the Pilot Scheme, will the Government inform this Council whether it will require developers to provide the following facilities in the development projects under the Pilot Scheme:

(1) Government-managed public markets, with a view to relieving the plight of those residents who "need to buy expensive food" as certain districts have been monopolised by markets under the Link Asset Management Limited at present; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

(2) primary care facilities (such as community health centres), with a view to alleviating the pressure on public healthcare services in the districts concerned; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

(3) social welfare facilities (such as residential care homes for the elderly and child care centres) and venues for religious groups with comparatively small numbers of believers to carry out religious activities, with a view to providing the districts concerned with more comprehensive community facilities; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?



     As pointed out in the Chief Executive's 2017 Policy Address, to re-ignite the hopes of families with higher income of owning a home in the face of hiking property prices, the Government will introduce the "Starter Homes" Pilot Scheme for Hong Kong Residents in order to enrich the housing ladder, on the premise that public housing supply will not be affected.

     The Government's initial thinking is to incorporate provisions into the land lease to require developers to pursue mixed developments on sites owned by themselves or bought from the Government, i.e., to design, build and offer for sale a specified number of "Starter Homes" units in addition to private housing units, and to sell these units to eligible persons. As "Starter Homes" is a new concept, the Government will continue to listen to the views of the community, and finalise the details of the scheme for announcement in mid-2018.

     On site selection, we propose to launch a pilot scheme by the end of next year using a residential site at Anderson Road, Kwun Tong in the Land Sale Programme to provide about 1 000 "Starter Homes" units. In general, the objective of incorporating public facilities in a private development is to achieve integrated design, optimisation of land use and better site planning or to take forward the completion of certain types of public facilities to serve a wider district or territorial need or to match with the population intake in private developments. In drawing up the conditions of sale and processing applications for lease modifications, relevant bureau(x) or department(s) may propose the provision of required public facilities in the private development concerned having regard to district needs, requirements under the Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines, as well as constraints and circumstances of individual sites. If it is decided that certain public facilities should be provided on a site, the Lands Department will upon policy directives reflect such requirements in the land lease conditions.

Ends/Wednesday, December 6, 2017
Issued at HKT 13:00