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HA to consider budget for 2018/19
The following is issued on behalf of the Hong Kong Housing Authority:

     The Finance Committee (FC) of the Hong Kong Housing Authority (HA) held a meeting today (January 11) on the HA's proposed budgets and forecasts for the period 2017/18 to 2021/22. After the meeting, the FC Chairman, Professor Chan Ka-lok, said, "The HA is projected to have sufficient financial resources to meet its recurrent expenditure and implement its current public housing construction programme and maintenance programme in the five-year period."
     With Home Ownership Scheme receipts coming on stream, the cash and investment balance of the HA is projected to decrease from about $49 billion at the beginning of April 2017 to about $36 billion by the end of March 2022, mainly due to the projected increase in construction and operating expenditure in the next few years. The total construction expenditure during the five-year period is projected to be about $115 billion, while no rent adjustment for public rental housing is predicted.
     Based on the Long Term Housing Strategy Annual Progress Report 2017 announced by the Government last month, the public housing supply target for the 10-year period from 2018/19 to 2027/28 will be 280 000 units according to the latest estimate, including 200 000 public rental housing units and 80 000 subsidised sale flats.
     The Government has so far set aside a total of about $78.8 billion for the Housing Reserve, which demonstrates the Government's commitment to financially support the HA to meet the public housing supply target. 
     "The HA's proposed budgets and forecasts are based on a package of assumptions. If there is adjustment or change in any of the assumptions, the projected financial position may be different. Concerning the suggestion in the Policy Address that the Green Form Subsidised Home Ownership Scheme (GSH) be regularised, the HA is reviewing the effectiveness of the GSH pilot, which is expected to be completed in early 2018. The budget bases and assumptions have yet to include the financial implications from the regularisation of the GSH. According to the existing mechanism, the HA will conduct the annual rolling five-year budgeting process and assess its financial position and future funding requirements," Professor Chan said.
     Today, the FC endorsed the Revised Budget for 2017/18 and the Proposed Budget for 2018/19. The FC has also noted the Financial Forecasts for 2019/20 to 2021/22.

     The HA meeting will examine the budget on January 22.
Ends/Thursday, January 11, 2018
Issued at HKT 12:45
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