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LCQ22: Recovering public rental housing flats
     Following is a question by the Hon Andrew Lam and a written reply by the Secretary for Housing, Ms Winnie Ho, in the Legislative Council today (April 26):

     It has been reported that during the eight-month period from April to November 2022, the Housing Department (HD) recovered more than 1 300 public rental housing (PRH) flats due to tenants abusing PRH and breaching tenancy agreements or housing policies, and such number exceeded the average annual number of PRH flats it recovered in the past two years (i.e. about 1 300 flats). In this connection, will the Government inform this Council, in the past three years:

(1) of the number of PRH flats recovered by the HD, with a breakdown by reason of recovery;

(2) of the average time required from the issuance of notices-to-quit by the HD to the recovery of the PRH flats concerned;

(3) of the average time required by the HD for refurbishing vacated PRH flats after recovering them; and

(4) of the manpower responsible for recovering PRH flats, with a breakdown by reason of recovery?
     The reply to the question raised by the Hon Andrew Lam is as follows:

     In the past three years, the Hong Kong Housing Authority (HA) recovered an average of 10 000 public rental housing (PRH) flats due to various reasons per year, with details tabulated below:
Reasons 2019/20
Voluntary Surrender* 4 500 5 200 5 300
Purchase of Subsidised Sale flats 5 400 4 000 3 200
Issuance of Notice-to-quit 1 300 1 200 1 200
Total no. of PRH Flat recovered 11 200 10 400 9 700
*Including flats voluntarily surrendered by tenants related to tenancy abuse.
     In 2021/22, about 1 300 flats were recovered due to tenancy abuse and breach of tenancy agreement or housing policies. In the ten months from April 2022 to January 2023, flats recovered due to the above reasons reached 1 700.

     In general, tenants are required to move out of their PRH flats and deliver vacant possession of the flats to the Housing Department (HD) by the end of the following month after the issue of the Notices-to-quit (NTQs) by the HA. Under the prevailing mechanism, tenants may appeal to the Appeal Panel (Housing) (AP) upon receipt of the NTQs, and the HD will follow up according to the decisions of the AP.

     The turnaround time for vacant flat refurbishment will be affected by the number of flats to be refurbished at the same time, the repair items for individual flats and the complexity of the refurbishment works, resulting in large variance in the actual turnaround time of each vacant flat. Generally, the average turnaround time for vacant flat refurbishment is within 44 days.
     â€‹Senior Housing Managers of the HD will issue NTQs on cases of substantiated breach of tenancy agreement or housing policies. Flat recovery is a routine work of tenancy management in PRH estates. Depending on the actual situation and degree of complexity of each case, the HD will arrange appropriate manpower to follow up flat recovery and carry out eviction when necessary.
Ends/Wednesday, April 26, 2023
Issued at HKT 12:40
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