Published: 12:50, June 15, 2024 | Updated: 13:00, June 15, 2024
30,200 HK public rental housing flats offered
By Shamim Ashraf in Hong Kong
Hong Kong Secretary for Housing Winnie Ho Wing-yin (center) and other officials attend a news conference on Thursday to announce the details of the light public housing application process, which starts on June 24. (PHOTO / HKSAR GOVT)

About 30,200 public rental housing units (PRHs) will be available for allocation to various categories of applicants in the 2024-25 fiscal year, the Hong Kong Housing Authority announced on Thursday.

Of the available flats, about 11,100 are new, while about 19,100 will be reallocated after their recovery from previous tenants, according to the city’s public housing provider and administrator.

The number of recovered flats exceeded the estimate by 4,100 flats, thanks to the Housing Department’s efforts to combat the abuse of public housing resources, together with the intake of new subsidized-sale flats.

As of March, the average waiting time for general PRH applicants stood at 5.7 years. The government aims to further decrease the waiting time to 4.5 years by 2027

A total 23,300 flats will be allocated for applicants on the PRH waiting list. Within the group, 2,200 flats will be assigned to nonelderly one-person applicants under the Quota and Points System, with the remainder going to general applicants, with family applicants and elderly one-person applicants being prioritized.

The plan includes setting aside 1,200 flats for residents displaced by clearance projects, and another 300 flats for those affected by redevelopment projects led by the Urban Renewal Authority. In addition, 700 flats will be reserved for compassionate rehousing purposes.

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About 3,700 flats will be used for various transfer purposes, such as relocating households that are underoccupying current units, enhancing living conditions under specific transfer programs.

The category of junior civil servants and pensioners will have 1,000 flats reserved.

Reflecting on the previous year’s allocation, the Housing Authority reported that 23,598 flats were allocated in 2023-24, representing 97.9 percent of the projected figure.

The shortfall in the number of newly constructed flats, which was about 4,500 less than anticipated, was attributed to project delays by Aggressive Construction Company Ltd, the authority added.

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As of March, the average waiting time for general PRH applicants stood at 5.7 years. The government aims to further decrease the waiting time to 4.5 years by 2027.

One of the key strategies is to increase the local housing supply, which includes the provision of 142,000 conventional public housing units and 30,000 light public housing units during 2023-28.The first batch of the light public housing units will open for applications starting June 24, offering about 4,440 units across two projects in Yuen Long and Ngau Tau Kok, the Housing Bureau announced on Thursday. The estimated monthly rent is set to vary between HK$740 ($94.73) to HK$2,650.

Around 85,000 individuals who had been on the PRH waiting list for at least three years are considered eligible. They will receive application forms from the authority in the coming week. Gradual intake is scheduled to start in the first quarter of 2025.