LCQ11: Allocation of public rental housing units
Regarding the allocation of public rental housing (PRH) units of the Hong Kong Housing Authority (HA), will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the number of PRH units surrendered by PRH tenants in each of the past two financial years which might be used for reallocation (excluding units surrendered due to transfer), with a breakdown by the following reasons for surrendering the units:
(i) death of the principal tenants;
(ii) the principal tenants being admitted to residential care homes;
(iii) the principal tenants having purchased subsidised sale flats;
(iv) the tenants moving out in compliance with the requirements of HA as they had breached the tenancy agreements;
(v) the tenants' family income/total household net asset value having exceeded the limits prescribed under the "Well-off Tenants Policies", or tenants owning domestic property;
(vi) voluntary surrender of units by tenants (with a breakdown by reason (e.g. emigration and moving to other places of residence)); and
(vii) other reasons;
(2) of the average time required for HA to refurbish the vacated PRH units after recovering those units in the past two financial years; as it is learnt that HA currently sets a target of no more than 44 days for the average turnaround time for vacant flat refurbishment, of the rationale for the target number of days, and whether the target will be updated;
(3) whether it has compiled statistics on the duration of years of PRH tenancy agreements; if so, of the average duration of years of such tenancy agreements;
(4) of the respective numbers of applications made by authorised members of PRH units for the granting of new tenancies upon the death or moving out of the PRH principal tenants which were received and approved by HA in the past five financial years; the average number of working days taken to process such applications (from submission of applications to signing of new tenancies); and
(5) of the respective numbers of applications for splitting of PRH household received and approved by HA in the past five financial years, with a breakdown by reason for applying for household splitting; the average number of working days taken to process such applications (from submission of applications to allocation of PRH units)?
My reply to the question raised by the Hon Lau Kwok-fan is as follows.
(1) In the past two years, the number of public rental housing (PRH) units recovered by the Hong Kong Housing Authority (HA) each year which can be used for re-allocation (excluding units surrendered due to transfer) is set out at Annex (Table 1).
(2) At present, HA has set a Performance Indicator (PI) for the average turnaround time for vacant flats refurbishment (VFR) at not exceeding 44 calendar days. The purpose of this indicator is to ensure timely completion of refurbishment works and to facilitate the re-letting of vacant flats. In order to expedite the progress of the works, HA has been striving to streamline and shorten the workflow for VFR. A mechanism has also been established to inform the contractors in advance about the details of the vacant flats to be recovered, so that the contractors can arrange manpower and materials in a timely manner to complete the works. In addition, in order to expedite allocation of flats, HA will arrange advance allocation of vacant flats to eligible PRH applicants while undergoing the VFR works. In the past two years, the average turnaround time was 38 days and 39 days respectively. Since the time for refurbishment of vacant flats will be affected by the number of flats to be refurbished, location and complexity of the works at the same time, we consider the current PI reasonable. HA will continue to closely monitor the progress of the refurbishment works and review the PI in a timely manner.
(3) In the tenancy agreement of PRH under HA, there is no stipulation regarding the duration of tenancy. In general, if tenants breached the tenancy agreement/management policies; affected by estate clearance/redevelopment or management transfer; or acquired other forms of subsidised housing, they are required to vacant and surrender the PRH units. We do not maintain statistical data on the average duration of years of tenancy agreement.
(4) In the past five years, the number of new tenancies granted to authorised members of PRH units by HA upon the death or moving out of PRH tenants is set out at Annex (Table 2). As regards the handling of applications for change of household head, if the required documents from the applicants are provided, HA will provide interim replies within 10 days and substantive replies within 18 days. If HA cannot provide a substantive reply within 18 days, it will keep the applicants informed of the progress on or before the substantive reply due date and thereafter on a monthly basis. Once applications are approved, HA's estate staff will arrange with the applicants for signing of new tenancy agreements.
(5) After admission to PRH units, splitting of tenancies will normally not be accepted. However, in exceptional cases, such as where PRH tenants have serious and deep-rooted disharmony among family members or other reasonable and compassionate justifications on medical or social grounds, HA will consider their requests for household splitting on individual merits and refer the case to the relevant government departments/organisations for assessment and recommendation as and when required. In addition, both tenants and family members must pass the comprehensive means test and the domestic property test. The number of household splitting applications handled by HA in the past five years is set out at Annex (Table 3). We do not maintain statistical data on the average number of working days taken to process the applications for household splitting.
Ends/Wednesday, November 30, 2022
Issued at HKT 12:50
Issued at HKT 12:50