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LCQ2: Accommodation area per capita
     Following is a question by the Hon Jimmy Ng and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Mr Frank Chan Fan, in the Legislative Council today (May 6):


     A survey report published by an international survey organization has pointed out that Hong Kong has been dubbed the world's most unaffordable city in terms of property prices for 10 consecutive years.  There are comments that high property prices have made it increasingly common that family members spanning a few generations have to crowd together in small flats, and young people continue to live with their parents after getting married.  Besides, with the accommodation area of Hong Kong people becoming smaller, the living standard of Hong Kong people is getting worse.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) whether it knows, for every fifth year from 1991 to 2016, the (a) median floor area of accommodation and (b) median per capita floor area of accommodation of the various types of households set out below:
(i) households of owner-occupiers in private sector housing,
(ii) rental households in private sector housing,
(iii) households in private sector housing as a whole,
(iv) households in subsidized sale housing,
(v) households in public rental housing,
(vi) households in public sector housing as a whole, and
(vii) households in Hong Kong as a whole (set out in the table below); and
Type of households 1991 1996 2001 2006 2011 2016
(i) (a)            
(ii) (a)            
(iii) (a)            
(iv) (a)            
(v) (a)            
(vi) (a)            
(vii) (a)            
(2) whether it has plans to formulate a minimum standard for per capita floor area of accommodation in respect of various types of residential flats; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?

     My reply to the question raised by the Hon Jimmy Ng is as follows:
(1) According to the results of the 2016 Population By-census conducted by the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD), the median floor area of accommodation (Note) and the median per capita floor area of accommodation of domestic households residing in selected types of housing in 2016 are set out in Annex.
     Floor area of accommodation is a newly added data topic of the 2016 Population By-census.  C&SD does not have the relevant statistics before 2016.
(2) Setting living space standards alone cannot improve living space and enhance livability.  A more important and fundamental approach is to increase land supply in a sustained manner.  Additional land is required for either the increase in housing production to address needs for accommodation or the increase in average living floor area per person to improve living standard.  In view of the current shortage in land supply and housing and that property prices remain at a level beyond the affordability of the general public, the Government needs to strike a reasonable balance between housing production and average living floor area per person.  The current priority of the Government is to meet the basic accommodation needs of the people through increasing housing production.  The Government considers that when the land shortage situation is notably alleviated, the community will be in a better position to explore whether a standard on average living floor area per person should be set.
Note: The floor area of public rental housing is measured in terms of internal floor area while the floor area of other types of accommodation is measured in terms of saleable floor area.
Ends/Wednesday, May 6, 2020
Issued at HKT 12:49
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