Church provides rooms for low-income couples
Some 30 working married couples who have been queuing for public housing for over three years will be able to live in transitional housing in a Kwun Tong hotel by the Lutheran Church Hong Kong Synod.
The operator is charging rent from HK$3,900 to HK$4,810 a month for rooms sized 147 to 185 square feet.
Applications commenced yesterday and are open until December 2.
The first transitional housing project by the Lutheran Hong Kong Synod and Hong Kong Lutheran Social Service will be at the Concordia IW Hotel located in Wai Yip Street, Kwun Tong.
The hotel will provide six double rooms per floor from the fifth to ninth floors, comprising a total of 30 accommodations, in order to minimize dispute between tenants and hotel residents, said Lui Cheuk-lun, Assistant Service Director of Hong Kong Lutheran Social Service.
Working married couples who have been waiting for public housing for more than three years or living in inadequate housing are eligible.
Applicants' income and total net asset limits cannot exceed HK$19,550 and HK$360,000 respectively, which are the limits for a two-person family set by the Housing Authority.
Applicants will first go through a balloting process then an interview, and criteria will include their earliest check-in day and willingness to participate in community service, Lui said.
Successful applicants can move in as soon as mid-December.
Some furniture and basic home appliances, including a television and mini refrigerator, have been equipped in the hotel rooms, and bills and free Wi-Fi are included in the monthly rent. Lui also said due to limited space, large appliances such as vacuum cleaners and ladders will be provided and shared, like in other transitional housing projects.
Cooking is prohibited and tenants must clean the rooms themselves.
In order to encourage tenants to build money-saving habits, upon saving at least HK$200 a month the operator will offer the same amount in meal vouchers that can be used in dining facilities at hotels. The operator will also hold money management workshops for the tenants.
The Lutheran Hong Kong Synod is planning another hotel room transitional housing project in Nam Cheong Street, Sham Shui Po, which will provide 45 accommodations to one or two-person tenants. It is expected to begin accepting applications from next month.