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LCQ10: Implementation of the revised Well-off Tenants Policies
     Following is a question by the Hon Kwok Wai-keung and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Mr Frank Chan Fan, in the Legislative Council today (May 15):
Question :
     The Hong Kong Housing Authority (HA) has implemented, since October 2017, the revised Well-off Tenants Policies (the revised WTP) to safeguard the rational allocation of public rental housing (PRH) resources.  Under the revised WTP, PRH tenants with a household income exceeding five times of PRH income limits (PRHILs) or with assets exceeding 100 times of PRHILs are required to vacate their PRH units.  Tenants who are exempted include those whose household members are all aged 60 or above (all-elderly households).  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the number of cases in which approval was given by HA in each of the past three years for the deletion of family members from the PRH tenancy, with a breakdown by reason for the deletion;
(2) of the number of all-elderly households and its percentage in the total number of PRH tenants, in each of the past three years;

(3) of the number of cases in which HA conducted in each of the past three years random checks on the income and asset declarations made by PRH tenants, and the respective numbers of those cases in which HA conducted an in-depth investigation and identified false declarations; and
(4) of the number of PRH units recovered by HA to date under the revised WTP?

     My reply to the Hon Kwok Wai-keung's question is as follows: 
(1) In the past three years (i.e. 2016, 2017 and 2018), the number of approved cases for deletion of family members in the Hong Kong Housing Authority (HA)'s public rental housing (PRH) and their reasons are at Annex I.
(2) In the past three years, the number and percentage of All Elderly Members (AEM) households in HA's PRH are listed at Annex II.
(3) In the past three years, HA conducted random checking and in-depth assessment on about 5 000, 5 000 and 6 000 cases respectively on the income and assets declarations of PRH residents.  There was an average of around 600 suspected false declaration cases every year.
(4) Since the implementation of the Housing Subsidy Policy and Policy on Safeguarding Rational Allocation of Public Housing Resources (Well-off Tenants Policies) from the declaration cycle in October 2017 till the end of March 2019, HA has issued about 580 Notice-to-Quits to households who possessed private domestic property in Hong Kong/ had their income or assets exceeding the relevant prescribed limit/ declined to declare.  Among them, 134 households have already returned their PRH units.
     However, the number of units eventually recovered by HA may be more than the figure mentioned above. This is because under HA's existing mechanism, if households have difficulties to move out of their PRH units on or before a specified date, they may apply to HA for a "Fixed Term Licence" to temporarily stay in their existing PRH units.  The "Fixed Term Licence" takes effect from the date of termination of the Tenancy Agreement and is valid for a maximum of 12 months.  Households meeting the eligibility for continuous renting of PRH units under the "Well-off Tenants Policies" during the validity period of the "Fixed Term Licence" may apply for the grant of tenancy and pay a rent at an appropriate level.  If the application is approved, the households are not required to move out of their PRH units, otherwise they are required to move out before the expiry date specified in the "Fixed Term Licence" and return their PRH units to HA.
Ends/Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Issued at HKT 12:00
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