Govt expects to meet public housing demand in 2023

2017-10-11 08:09     Comment:1

The government said yesterday it expects the number of public housing units to meet demand in 2023.

The Housing Bureau (IH) yesterday released details of a study about the city’s demand for public housing. According to the report, the government expects the number of public housing units in 2023 to meet residents’ needs at that time, even expecting a surplus of more than 13,000 public housing units in 2026.

The report can be downloaded on the bureau’s website:, in Chinese and Portuguese versions.

The government’s public housing programme comprises subsidised home-ownership scheme (HOS) flats and social rental housing units. HOS flats are known in Chinese and Portuguese as “economical” housing.

The government’s current public housing policy is that the construction of social rental housing be given priority over the construction of HOS flats, which are much cheaper than their counterparts in the private property market. Social housing rents are also much lower than those in the private market.

The report states that last year the estimated demand for social rental units was 7,494 units while demand for HOS units was
16,043 units – meaning that total demand for public housing units was 23,537 units.

The report points out that last year the number of newly available social rental units was 1,603 units while the number of newly available HOS flats was 2,934 units – meaning the total supply of new public housing flats stood at 4,537 units last year.

The report forecasts that demand for public housing units will increase to 31,247 units in 2021 (12,035 social rental units and 19,212
HOS flats). The report expects the new supply of public housing units to reach 9,273 units in 2021. Consequently, the government still expects a shortage of 21,974 public housing units in 2021.

The report points out that two social rental housing projects and four HOS projects are currently under construction with a total of 4,736 units. The report expects the projects to be completed by 2021. Therefore, the report shows an expected new supply of 9,273
public housing units in 2021 (4,537 units completed last year + 4,736 units currently under construction = 9,273 units).

For 2026, the report forecasts that demand for public housing units will increase to 36,592 new units (15,144 social rental units
and 21,448 HOS flats). The report predicts that there will be a large number of completed public housing flats in the five-year period
(2021-2026) and therefore the government’s new supply of public housing units will rise to 49,873 units. Consequently, the government expects a surplus of 13,281 public housing units in 2026.

The report points out that according to the 2017 Policy Address and information provided by the Lands, Public Works and
Transport Bureau (DSSOPT), the government is planning an additional 40,600 public housing units. Therefore, the report expects
the supply of public housing units to rise to 49,873 units in 2026 (9,273 units completed in 2021 + the planned 40,600 units = 49,873 units).

According to the report, the planned 40,600 public housing units include 8,000 units on the plot of the abandoned La Scala luxury housing project near the airport, and 28,000 units on the land reclamation area known as Zone A.

The government has said that the Zone A land reclamation project – which lies off the northeastern coast of the peninsula – is
expected to be completed at the end of this year.

The bureau commissioned local think-tank Macau Public Governance Research Centre to carry out the study, according to the report.

In the concluding remarks, the report predicts that in 2023 the number of available public housing units will be able to meet residents’
demand for public housing.

This photo taken early this year shows a public housing project in Ilha Verde. Photo: Tony Wong


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