Chui pledges new round of HOS applications before end of his term

2017-11-15 07:57     Comment:0

Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On said yesterday his government aims to launch a new round of applications for subsidised home-ownership scheme (HOS) flats before his term ends in December 2019.

Chui made the remarks during a post-policy address press conference at Government Headquarters.

The government’s public housing programme comprises HOS flats and social rental housing units.

HOS flats are much cheaper than their counterparts in the private property market. Social housing rents are also much lower than those in the private market.

During yesterday’s press conference, Chui reaffirmed that the government will continue its existing public housing policy which is that the construction of social rental housing will be given priority over the construction of HOS flats.

The last time the government accepted applications for HOS flats was back in 2013.

In local Chinese and Portuguese parlance, HOS flats are known as “economical flats”.

Earlier this month, the government launched a new round of applications for social housing units, the period of which will end on February 7 next year.

Chui also pledged that the government will not change its plan for the construction of 28,000 public housing units and 4,000 units for the private housing market on the land reclamation area known as Zone A.

Chui said that the reclamation of Zone A – which lies off the north-eastern coast of the peninsula – will be completed at the end of this year.

Chui’s 2018 Policy Address states that the preliminary findings of his government’s assessment show that 6,500 public housing units can be built on the plot of the abandoned La Scala luxury housing project near the airport.

The government announced last year in its first-ever Five-Year Development Plan that it planned to build a huge public housing project providing 8,000 units on the plot, which is at the bottom of Big Taipa Hill, in Avenida Wai Long. Since then, Chui had repeatedly told the media that the government was planning for 8,000 public housing units on the plot.

When asked by the media during yesterday’s press conference about the possible change in the number of public housing units on the plot, Chui pointed out that the government-appointed Urban Planning Council discussed the proposed project in a number of meetings. He said that the government had also commissioned an environmental assessment for the project.

Chui said that following the reassessment process, the government now expected that 6,500 public housing units could be built on the plot. Chui said the government respected the professional opinions raised during the process.

Chui stressed that the government was always willing to listen to divergent opinions, adding, “It shows that it’s not always the case that what the government has said will become the eventual reality”.

Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On listens to a reporter’s question during yesterday’s post-policy address press conference at Government Headquarters. Photo: Iong Tat Choi

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