CE celebrates Chinese New Year with families of Light Housing project in Sham Tseng (with photos)

     The Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, attended a New Year Feast this afternoon (February 25) with dozens of residents of the Light Housing project in Sham Tseng to extend her Chinese New Year greetings to them. She was accompanied by the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Dr Law Chi-kwong; the Chairman of Light Be, Mr Laurence Li; the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Light Be, Mr Ricky Yu; and the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Social Ventures Hong Kong, Mr Francis Ngai.

     The Sham Tseng Light Housing project, which involves a previously vacant factory staff quarters building belonging to the Government, is the first collaboration between the Government and the social enterprise Light Be. With the support of donations from the business sector, Light Be renovated the building to provide more than 40 units of rental housing with affordable rent below the market level to families in need for a maximum of three years. Aside from providing a secure place to stay for the resident families, Light Be also offers a wide range of support and counselling services to encourage the residents to help one another as well as their own self and develop self-reliance upon expiry of the lease. The concept is similar to the measure promulgated by the Chief Executive in her maiden Policy Address to develop transitional housing to alleviate the hardship faced by families on the public rental housing waiting list and the inadequately housed. In fact, the Sham Tseng Light Housing project was made possible with active involvement of Mrs Lam while she was the Chief Secretary for Administration.

     Noting that she had visited the Light Housing in Sham Tseng several times, she said she is pleased to know that circumstances of some families had improved during their stay at the Light Housing. Coupled with the provision of professional guidance and support, they were able to start again to fend for themselves and look after their children down the road. She said she appreciates Light Be for its ongoing efforts. Since the launch of the first Light Home in September 2012, Light Be has, including the Light Housing in Sham Tseng, provided over 100 flats, benefitting about 200 families with over 600 members. Expressing her gratitude to the community and the business sector as well for their active participation in helping the disadvantaged, she said that the Government will continue to facilitate the implementation of various short-term community initiatives to increase the supply of transitional housing and pool the efforts and resources from all sectors in society to alleviate the housing problem faced by the grassroots.

     Mrs Lam enjoyed a hot pot meal with the residents on the rooftop where they hold gatherings frequently. She also harvested lettuces which were grown by the residents on the rooftop farm for a "lo hei" ceremony, wishing all the residents a smooth, vibrant and prosperous year ahead.

Ends/Sunday, February 25, 2018
Issued at HKT 15:55