A general view shows public housing in Hong Kong on Aug 23, 2020. (MAY JAMES / AFP)
Hong Kong residents will only need to pay between HK$570 ($73) and $2,650 monthly to rent a unit under the newly introduced Light Public Housing scheme to address the shortage of public rental flats and shorten the average six-year wait for a public rental housing flat.
A document submitted to the Legislative Council by the Housing Bureau said the government will apply for funding in the first quarter of next year to build and operate LPH flats.
Eligible applicants should have been in the public rental housing queue for at least three years, and priority will be given to those with a family. Seeking light public housing will not affect applications for PRH units, and LPH tenants can continue to wait for public rental flats
Secretary for Housing Winnie Ho Wing-yin will brief the council on the plan on Monday.
Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu unveiled the LPH scheme in his maiden Policy Address on Oct 19 in a bid to fill the gap in public housing supply for the short term. Along with other housing initiatives, he vowed to cut the public housing waiting time from six years to four-and-a-half years.
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Eligible applicants should have been in the PRH queue for at least three years, and priority will be given to those with a family. Seeking LPH housing will not affect applications for PRH units, and LPH tenants can continue to wait for public rental flats.
LHP rents will be set at around 90 percent of those for newly completed traditional PRH flats in the same district. LPH rents, however, will vary, depending on the unit’s size and location. A large unit could accommodate four to five tenants.
LHP units are built with the time-saving Modular Integrated Construction approach with standardized designs. Although LHP is regarded as transitional accommodation, the units will have cooking, shower and toilet areas, along with basic facilities, like air-conditioners and water heaters.
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According to the document, 12,000 PRH units will be available in the next five years. Most of them will be completed about three to 18 months in advance. The scheme is part of the government’s plan to provide more PRH units by allowing residents to move in while public housing estates are still under construction.