Application deadline for Squatter Occupants Voluntary Registration Scheme extended

     The Lands Department (LandsD) announced today (November 3) the extension of the application deadline of the Squatter Occupants Voluntary Registration Scheme to October 31, 2023.
     A spokesperson for the LandsD said, "In view of the Government's intensified effort to resume land for implementing various development projects and increasing land supply, the department decided to extend the Scheme to allow more time for occupants residing in squatter structures originally for non-domestic uses to register, so as to benefit from the rehousing and compensation arrangements in development clearances."
     Under the Scheme, which was launched on November 1, 2018, persons residing in licenced non-domestic structures or in squatter structures recorded for non-domestic uses in the 1982 Squatter Control Survey (collectively referred to as "non-domestic squatter structures") upon proving that they started to reside in the non-domestic squatter structures since May 10, 2018, or before, would be eligible to register. Occupants of non-domestic squatter structures who have successfully registered may apply for rehousing and ex-gratia allowances if they are affected by the Government's development clearance exercises in future.
     The spokesperson said, "As non-domestic squatter structures should not be used for domestic purposes, persons residing in such squatter structures were not eligible to apply for rehousing and compensation in the past. The Government announced on May 10, 2018, the enhancement of the re-housing and ex-gratia compensation arrangements for occupants of squatter structures, and introduced the Scheme to allow persons already residing in non-domestic squatter structures at that time to apply for registration, such that they can also apply for rehousing and compensation when being affected by government development clearances in future. The Scheme not only protects the households who have been registered, but also helps to discourage others from moving to reside in non-domestic squatter structures as well as curb related speculative activities. As of September 30, 2022, over 800 households had already successfully registered."
     Separately, since the implementation of the Scheme, for occupants of non-domestic structures who have been covered by a Pre-clearance Survey (also known as a freezing survey) conducted by the LandsD for the relevant development project, if they fulfil the above registration eligibility (i.e. already resided in the non-domestic squatter structure on or before May 10, 2018), they would be automatically deemed to be successfully registered under the Scheme without having to submit registration applications separately. As of now, over 170 households of non-domestic squatter structures who were deemed successfully registered have been offered compensation and rehousing due to government development clearances. 
     The spokesperson said, "We note that some occupants of non-domestic squatter structures are concerned that they will be exposing their unauthorised use of the squatter structures and become vulnerable to enforcement if they come forward to register under the Scheme. The LandsD reiterates that the department would tolerate the use of non-domestic squatter structures for domestic uses for households successfully registered under the Scheme. As a matter of fact, since the implementation of the Scheme, the department has never taken enforcement action against any of the 800 or so successfully registered squatter households on grounds that their squatter structures are used for domestic purposes. Nonetheless, the structures concerned are still required to comply with other requirements governing the licenced or surveyed squatter structures under the relevant licences and/or the prevailing squatter control policy, including the prohibition against any extension or addition, as well as unauthorised alteration."
     The spokesperson continued, "As a facilitation measure, the department rolled out the Notification Scheme for Repair/Rebuilding of Surveyed Squatter Structure(s) on June 28, 2021, to allow occupants of surveyed squatter structures to commence the repair/redevelopment works upon submitting the Notification Form together with the required supporting documents to the LandsD, without approval needed."
     Guidance notes on the Scheme and application forms can be downloaded from the LandsD's website (, and will be made available via District Lands Offices, Clearance Offices and Squatter Control Teams of the LandsD, and at Home Affairs Enquiry Centres of the Home Affairs Department. For enquiries, please call 2231 3392 or email

Ends/Thursday, November 3, 2022
Issued at HKT 12:41