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Friday, Feb 03, 2023

Starter homes back in works for youths

Starter homes back in works for youths

The Starter Homes scheme will be resurrected in the next fiscal year to help youngsters buy their own flats, Secretary for Home and Youth Affairs Alice Mak Mei-kuen said as she unveiled a youth development blueprint yesterday.
A new post of commissioner for youth will be set up today, Mak added, to be filled by deputy secretary Wallace Lau Ka-ki. Lau will be responsible for coordinating work on youth development.

The member self-recommendation scheme for youths will be expanded to allow their participation in up to 180 government committees, from the incumbent 60.

Some 160 policies and measures were set out in the blueprint, to promote national education, provide more job opportunities here and in the Greater Bay Area, and address the housing needs of people aged between 12 and 39.

The Starter Homes scheme first came up in 2017 and was implemented in 2020, targeting residents who have never owned property.

Mak said the scheme would be led by the development and housing bureaus, with sites still being allocated.

The youth hostel scheme will also be expanded to hotels and guesthouses and aims to provide around 3,000 places over the next five years. Lau added the Home and Youth Affairs Bureau has set aside HK$1 billion for the scheme.

Supply of housing units, including units under the light public housing scheme, will also be expanded and is expected to provide 158,000 flats by 2028.

When asked if those arrested during the anti-fugitive bill protests in 2019 will benefit under the blueprint, Mak said the policies are eligible to all young people who fulfill "objective requirements."

Other new measures also include the establishment of a youth network and the launch of a youth-based app to pull the young together and provide them with information on different development projects.

A "youth dashboard" will be set up to compile data and figures collected concerning young people for the formulation of policies.

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