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Thursday, Mar 30, 2023

Youth hostel flats up for grabs from $2,950

Some 500 youngsters aged 18 to 30 whose monthly income is less than HK$25,000 applied to live in a youth hostel in Yuen Long operated by Po Leung Kuk at half of the market value, ranging from HK$2,950 a month.
Application opened yesterday for the 27-story youth hostel, "Po Leung Kuk Lee Shau Kee Youth Oasis" at Tai Shu Road West donated by the Lee Shau Kee Foundation, however the government fully funded the HK$1.44 billion construction cost.

The hostel, which is about 15 to 30 minutes walk from Long Ping and Yuen Long MTR stations, provides a total of 1,680 places, including 816 single rooms and 432 double rooms.

The monthly rent ranges from HK$2,950 to HK$3,750 for single room with size from 179 to 214 square feet, and HK$3,100 to HK$4,200 for double room of about 199 to 240 square feet.

Each room has independent toilet with shower, water heater, air conditioner, refrigerator, with basic furniture including bed, wardrobe, desk, chairs, sink and curtain.

As of 5pm yesterday, about 500 people have submitted their applications through the hostel's website.

For single room applicants, their average monthly income must be below HK$25,000 and their total net asset value cannot be over HK$380,000.

For double room applicants, the income level limit sets at no more than HK$50,000 for two people and their net asset cannot be over HK$760,000.

The first lease term will be two years and can be renewed for up to five years. The hostel provides facilities like kitchens, laundry, library and an outdoor basketball ground for common use.

To take part in the first drawing lots of 500 units on April 4, people have to submit their applications on or before April 3 by 11.59pm.

Speaking at the ceremony, Secretary for Home and Youth Affairs Alice Mak Mei-kuen said Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu had announced to expand the Youth Hostel Scheme in his maiden policy address in October last year.

Mak said that the bureau has introduced a subsidy scheme to fund non-governmental organizations to rent and turn suitable hotels and guesthouses into youth hostels.

"Even after the border are reopened and the tourism sector is reviving, some hotel operators have said they are willing to join this [youth hostel] scheme, and several projects are under discussion," Mak added.

Under the guidelines issued earlier this year, young tenants have to participate in community service for 200 hours a year to get their lease renewed.

Po Leung Kuk chairman Daniel Chan Ching-yan said tenants are encouraged to participate in volunteer work, but they are not required to commit.

The "Po Leung Kuk Lee Shau Kee Youth Oasis" is the second completed project under the Youth Hostel Scheme, after the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups' hostel in Tai Po on Po Heung Street came into operation in 2020.

Five other projects are under construction or planning.

A total of over 3,400 youth hostels will be provided through the seven projects.

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