Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Thursday, Mar 23, 2023

Academics propose Hong Kong public housing swap between working age and elderly

Academics propose Hong Kong public housing swap between working age and elderly

Think tank’s green paper proposes public housing swap between retired and working age to bring workers closer to city centre.

A transfer scheme to allocate Hong Kong public housing in outlying areas to the retired and move people of working age closer to their workplaces in the city has been proposed by a group of economists.

Professor Richard Wong Yue-chim, the provost and deputy vice-chancellor of the University of Hong Kong (HKU), said the working status and economic activity of households should be taken into account in transfer and rehousing allocations.

Wong explained that a unit exchange scheme for tenants to exchange homes at their convenience would increase the usefulness of public housing.

“I don’t see the working class spending a few hours commuting to work as productive. It’s all about how to utilise housing resources,” he said.

The proposal, drawn up by 11 academics, was part of the University of Hong Kong Business School’s “Hong Kong Economic Policy Green Paper 2022”, released on Thursday.

The paper offered recommendations to help boost the economic development of Hong Kong.

It proposed a solution to the problem of misallocation of public housing resources through a transfer scheme placing new applicants where the household was made up of retirees aged 60 or more, or those who were otherwise not working, in flats in areas further from the centre of the city and allow those with long-term employment the chance to live nearer to their workplaces.

The Hong Kong Housing Authority had received about 144 200 general applications for public rented housing by June this year, and about 98,400 non-elderly one-person applications under the quota and points system.

The average waiting time for general applicants in the past 12 months was six years and for elderly one-person applicants the wait was 4.1 years.

The green paper also proposed the establishment of “silver estates” for the retired in the Greater Bay Area, so that their Hong Kong public housing flats could be reallocated to members of the city’s labour force to boost productivity.

(L to R) HKU Business School dean and chair of economics Cai Hongbin, provost and deputy vice-chancellor of HKU Richard Wong, and Tang Heiwai. the HKU Business School Victor and William Fung professor in economics launch a green paper on economic policy for the city.

But Scott Leung Man-kwong, a lawmaker and the vice-chairman of the Federation of Public Housing, said the proposal would only work if public rented housing units were more evenly distributed across the city’s districts.

“It could possibly work if there are enough public rented housing supplies and evenly available job opportunities in each district, otherwise the allocation would be further imbalanced,” Leung said.

He added the proposal might be more suitable for the comprehensive development of some areas.

“For example, there will be different industries and job opportunities in the Northern Metropolis in the future,” Leung explained. “That proposal might work there because people can live near where they work. But it all depends on the plan of the administration.”

The green paper also suggested the government should consider selling public housing to sitting tenants at low prices and allow buyers to lease out units without the need to pay the land premium.

They said that would ease the problem of subdivided flats in the city, where many people lived in substandard, privately-owned properties.

The school also tackled Hong Kong’s economic reliance on finance and real estate.

Heiwai Tang, a professor in economics at HKU Business School, said the twin pillar economy approach caused a severe development imbalance.

“Hong Kong’s increasing specialisation in finance and the real estate sectors have contributed significantly to the rise in income and wealth inequalities in the city,” Tang said. “A more diversified economy would help foster sustainable and inclusive economic growth in Hong Kong.”

Tang explained Hong Kong was on the path to re-industrialisation and innovation, but that the city still faced a series of problems.

These included competition from other cities, attracting talent, the high cost of labour and land, high housing and rented costs, as well as the lack of a research and development culture in an economy dominated by financial and professional services.

He added re-industrialisation was an essential step to diversify the city’s economic base and help complete an environment suited to scientific research, which would boost the city’s role in the development of an international innovation hub.

The Housing Department said that “public rental housing units are a limited public resource, which should be allocated in a rational and equitable manner for those in genuine need”.


Related Articles

Hong Kong News
NYPD is setting up barricades outside Manhattan Criminal Court ahead of Trump arrest.
Credit Suisse's Scandalous History Resulted in an Obvious Collapse - It's time for regulators who fail to do their job to be held accountable and serve as an example by being behind bars.
Goldman Sachs cuts outlook for European bank debt over Credit Suisse crisis
Paris Rioting vs Macron anti democratic law
'Sexual Fantasy' Assignment At US School Outrages Parents
The US government has charged Chinese businessman Guo Wengui with leading a $1 billion fraud scheme that cheated thousands of followers out of their money.
Credit Suisse to borrow $54 billion from Swiss central bank
The BBC problem about China
Russian Hackers Preparing New Cyber Assault Against Ukraine
"Will Fly Wherever International Law Allows": US Warns Russia After Drone Incident
If this was in Tehran, Moscow or Hong Kong
Announcing GPT-4
TRUMP: "Standing before you today, I am the only candidate who can make this promise: I will prevent World War III."
China is calling out the US, UK, and Australia on their submarine pact, claiming they are going further down a dangerous road
A brief banking situation report
We are witnessing widespread bank fails and the president just gave a 5 min speech then walked off camera.
Donald Trump's asked by Tucker Carlson question on if the U.S. should support regime change in Russia?.
'No relation to the American SVB': India's SVC Bank acts to calm depositors amid brand name confusion.
Good news: The U.S. government is now guaranteeing all deposits, held by, Silicon Valley Bank, and the funds are available as of today
Silicon Valley Bank exec was Lehman Brothers CFO
In a potential last-ditch effort, HSBC is considering a rescue deal to save Silicon Valley Bank UK from insolvency
Saudi Arabia has announced a major breakthrough in diplomacy with Iran after two years of intense talks
Elon Musk Is Planning To Build A Town In Texas For His Employees
The Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse effect is spreading around the world, affecting startup companies across the globe
City officials in Berlin announced on Thursday that all swimmers at public pools will soon be allowed to swim topless
Fitness scam
Market Chaos as USDC Loses Peg to USD after $3.3 Billion Reserves Held by Silicon Valley Bank Closed.
A primitive judge in Australia sparked outrage when he told a breastfeeding woman to leave his courtroom for being “a distraction"
Barcelona is feeling the heat as they face corruption charges over payments to former vice-president of Spain's referees' committee, Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira
Banking regulators close SVB, the largest bank failure since the financial crisis
Silicon Valley Bank: Struggles Threaten Tech Startup Ecosystem"
The unelected UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, an immigrant himself, defends new controversial crackdown on illegal migration
Old clip of Bill Gates saying Ukraine is a big, fat, corrupt sinkhole is going viral
Man’s penis amputated by mistake after he’s wrongly diagnosed with a tumour
2 universities in Hong Kong embrace use of ChatGPT, other AI tools
In a major snub to Downing Street's Silicon Valley dreams, UK chip giant Arm has dealt a serious blow to the government's economic strategy by opting for a US listing
Missing Chinese banker was working to set up Singapore family office
Hong Kong ditches Covid mask mandate after 945 days
Xi Jinping and His Wife Meet with Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni and Queen Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk
How do stolen goods end up on Amazon, eBay and Facebook Marketplace?
It's the question on everyone's lips: could a four-day workweek be the future of employment?
Is Gold the Ultimate Safe Haven Asset in Times of Uncertainty?
Spain officials quit over trains that were too wide for tunnels...
Hello. Here is our news digest from London.
Corruption and Influence Buying Uncovered in International Mainstream Media: Investigation Reveals Growing Disinformation Mercenaries
When it comes to Tesla vs Lamborghini, an empty vessel makes more noise
European MP Clare Daly condemns US attack on Nord Stream
Former U.S. President Carter will spend his remaining time at home and receive hospice care instead of medication
North Korea test-fires an intercontinental ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan west of Hokkaido
US bombed Nord Stream gas pipelines, claims investigative journalist Seymour Hersh