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Sunday, Apr 02, 2023

Light public housing provides "lifeboat" for subdivided unit tenants: housing chief

Secretary for Housing Winnie Ho Wing-yin reiterated that light public housing would provide an imperative lifeboat to those with urgent housing needs, especially the more than 100,000 families living in subdivided units in poor conditions.
Ho recently brought a group of subdivided unit tenants to a mock-up of a light public housing unit to preview their future homes. The mock-up of about 330 square feet unit is equipped with basic facilities like TV, refrigerator, sofa, etc.

Introducing the unit, Ho said: "You can see that they have individual toilets and cooking space. They are not very big, but at least decent."

"This building can withstand any level of typhoon in Hong Kong because it follows all the building codes of construction in Hong Kong," she added.

One of those viewing the mock-up was Leung, who lives in a subdivided unit in Sham Shui Po with her parents-in-law, husband, 14-year-old son and baby daughter. "It is amazing. Our family will feel very comfortable living here. We can have our own beds," she said.

Having been on the waiting list for public housing for more than four years, Leung's family is looking forward to the improvement in their living conditions.

Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu announced in his policy address that about 30,000 LPH units would be completed in five years to address the short-term public housing shortage.

Together with the number of traditional public housing units to be completed in the same period, the overall public housing supply will be increased by about 50%.

As with traditional public rental housing, the LPH units come in different sizes. Families of four to five members can rent a unit of the same size as the mock-up for HK$2,650, which is around 90% of the cost of newly built traditional public rental housing in the same district.

Ho stated that she uses the term 'lifeboat' to describe light public housing because a lifeboat is life-saving. "It is fast and to the point to help those people who are really in need."

Those on the waiting list for traditional PRH for three years or more may apply for LPH, and priority will be given to family applicants.

It is learned that the government has selected eight suitable sites for the LPH scheme, of which three were in urban areas including one on Olympic Avenue in Kai Tak, another on Choi Hing Road in Ngau Tau Kok and a site in Chai Wan.

The cost of the light housing, with the design and construction fee, will also be reduced by about one billion from the initial estimated cost of HK$26.8 billion.

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