Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Monday, Feb 06, 2023

‘Some temporary public flats could cost more to build than permanent homes’

‘Some temporary public flats could cost more to build than permanent homes’

Temporary flat under scheme could cost about HK$680,000, while construction fee for permanent home is HK$650,000, Secretary for Housing Winnie Ho says.

Hong Kong’s housing chief has revealed that construction for some temporary public flats under a new scheme designed to create 30,000 homes could cost more than permanent units, amid calls from lawmakers to disclose additional details about the project to justify the expenses.

Secretary for Housing Winnie Ho Wing-yin on Monday said flats in low-rise buildings under the “light public housing” scheme could cost HK$550,000 (US$70,603) per unit to build, while construction fees for those with 16 to 18 floors were higher.

“Considerations are different for high-rise light public housing flats. The wind, structure and foundations are very different. In this case, a temporary housing unit under the scheme will cost around HK$680,000, similar to the HK$650,000 cost of a permanent public flat,” Ho said at the Legislative Council’s housing panel meeting.


Secretary for Housing Winnie Ho.

At the meeting, about 10 lawmakers urged the government to justify the construction costs associated with the scheme, which was proposed in October in a bid to create transitional homes for low-income families.

Lawmaker Chan Hok-fung said: “Permanent public housing flats can be used for more than 50 years, but light public housing is only for five years. The government has to explain why it is much more expensive.”

Ho explained that temporary housing sites had to be built quickly, adding some of the larger ones had higher infrastructure costs, while permanent housing flats were mass-produced with more effectiveness.

The Housing Bureau is hoping to secure a HK$32 billion lump-sum grant from Legco in the first quarter of next year, an amount which would include a HK$26.8 billion design and construction fee and infrastructure costs amounting to HK$600 million.

The government has so far revealed four locations for one-third of the temporary units, all in the New Territories. Two sites in Tuen Mun will provide 7,000 flats, while the remaining 3,000 will be built in remote areas in Sheung Shui and Yuen Long.

Two lawmakers opposed the lump-sum grant arrangement, saying the government had yet to disclose the cost for each site allocated to the flats.

A construction site for public housing in Diamond Hill.


“I feel that the government has little respect for Legco. As lawmakers, we have the duty to monitor how the government uses public funds. As there are four sites, why don’t you list the detailed costs of each site?” Tony Tse Wai-chuen, who represents the architectural, surveying, planning and landscape sector said.

“If we grant the lump sum, how can we monitor the government?”

Ho denied that the government was being disrespectful and pledged to provide more information next month, including detailed costs and potential locations of other temporary housing sites, adding that the remaining 20,000 flats were located in “relatively developed” areas such as Kowloon, Hong Kong Island and Tuen Mun.

She added that the lump-sum grant would be “crucial” to the scheme as the government would have to start building drainage, or even broadening roads, in order to quickly build the temporary flats.

“We need to start as soon as possible. We cannot start a few projects first, or else the others won’t be completed in one to two years,” Ho said.

The government is hoping to build 30,000 homes in five years to reduce the waiting time for both permanent and temporary public flats to 4½ years by the 2026-27 financial year. The wait for a permanent public rental flat is currently 5.6 years.

Newsletter

Related Articles

Hong Kong News
Close
0:00
0:00
Charlie Munger, calls for a ban on cryptocurrencies in the US, following China's lead
Hong Kong airlines taking bold action after the years of pandemic lockdown and travel restrictions, to make Hong Kong great again
EU found a way to use frozen Russian funds
First generation unopened iPhone set to fetch more than $50,000 at auction.
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT - US Memphis Police murdering innocent Tyre Nichols
Almost 30% of professionals say they've tried ChatGPT at work
Interpol seeks woman who ran elaborate exam cheating scam in Singapore
Chinese search giant Baidu to launch ChatGPT like AI chatbot.
What is ChatGPT?
Bill Gates is ‘very optimistic’ about the future: ‘Better to be born 20 years from now...than any time in the past’
China is opening up for foreign investors.
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
China's first population drop in six decades
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
China's foreign ministry branch in Hong Kong urges British gov't to stop the biased and double standards Hong Kong report
China relaxes 'red lines' on property sector borrowing in policy pivot
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
Japan prosecutors indict man for ex-PM Shinzo Abe murder
Vietnam removes two deputy PMs amid anti-corruption campaign
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
China’s recovery could add 1% to Australia’s GDP: JPMorgan 
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
China vows to strengthen financial support for enterprises: official
International medical experts speak out against COVID-19 restrictions on China
2 Billion People To Travel In China's "Great Migration" Over Next 40 Days
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
Flight constraints expected to weigh on China travel rebound
Billionaire Jack Ma relinquishes control of Ant Group
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
Teslas now over 40% cheaper in China than US
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
UK chaos: Hong Kong emigrants duped by false prospectus
China seeks course correction in US ties but will fight ‘all forms of hegemony’, top diplomat Wang Yi says
China will boost spending in 2023
African traders welcome end of China’s Covid travel curbs
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Will Canada ever become a real democracy?
Hong Kong property brokerages slash payrolls in choppy market
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
Effect of EU sanctions on Moscow is ‘less than zero’ – Belgian MEP
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
Preparations begin for Spring Festival travel rush
×