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Thursday, Feb 29, 2024

Gov't working hard to see if cost of light public housing can be lower, says deputy finance chief

Authorities are working hard to see if it is possible to lower the construction cost of light public housing, which is the only way to satisfy Hong Kong's public housing demand in the short term, said deputy financial secretary Michael Wong Wai-lun.
In a newspaper article published Thursday, Wong said the Housing Department and the Architectural Services Department are working on the cost review and will announce relevant details as soon as possible.

Wong went on to say that construction price of light public housing is similar to that of transitional housing if compared per square feet, and some light public housing buildings cost even less.

Wong noted that building a transitional housing unit costs about HK$550,000, which is similar to that of a unit at a light public housing building standing at three to four stories tall.

The cost for a light public housing unit at a building standing at 16 to 18 stories tall can go up to about HK$680,000 as the construction requires extra foundation and reinforcement work, and the installment of electrical and mechanical facilities.

There will also be more large units to house families of four to five compared with other transitional housing projects that are operating or still in construction.

The government has been searching for appropriate lands for the construction of light public housing and will use each and everyone of the land plots to its last inch, hoping to fulfill the surging demand, Wong said.

Wong stressed the actual value of light public housing cannot be calculated in terms of money only, and pointed out that it means the world to those who are in desperate need of a proper home.

The no.2 finance chief also said the Housing Department will later announce the selected urban land plots for light public housing, while sources said two of the four land plots are located in Kai Tak and Chai Wan.

He added Secretary for Housing Winnie Ho Wing-yin has been discussing with the Transport Department and bus companies and believed all parties will soon come up with a proposal to convenience residents' commute.
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