Response of Hong Kong government to the housing problems

Table of Content

Introduction: Hong Kong has a high population density and faces significant housing problems, particularly for urban poor individuals. To gain a deeper understanding of the government’s responses to these issues, such as shortages in housing units, it is important to examine their various measures and actions taken in the 21st century. This analysis primarily relies on library research and online sources.

There are three main responses after the comprehensive research. The following are the responses of the Hong Kong government to the housing problems of the urban poor. According to Yeah (1989), subsidized rental housing should no longer be considered a lifelong entitlement regardless of needs and means. In an interview on 7.6.1994, Y. L. Chain strongly argues that a rent policy that gradually reduces the difference between public and private sector rents, along with a rebate system to protect poorer households, is highly desirable for reasons of fairness and efficiency.

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Many wealthy tenants choose to live in public housing primarily because of the low rental rates and ample space available. Additionally, implementing higher rent fees would likely incentivize these tenants to consider purchasing their own homes, which aligns with the government’s objective to sell rental units to current occupants (Mammals and Muriel 1990). Therefore, housing policies ought to be aimed at channeling assistance towards those in need. Since the recent uproar surrounding record-breaking apartment prices, various stakeholders including the government, critics, and experts are working tirelessly to devise straightforward solutions.

There is a growing trend to revive the Home Ownership Scheme, which entails the Housing Society constructing inexpensive apartments and assuming land expenses. This program was previously preferred by the lower middle class who aspired to own property. Those living in government-owned low rental housing or eligible individuals on the waiting list have first priority for affordable housing under this scheme.

Despite the cessation of new flat construction for the Home Ownership Scheme in 2004 due to the declining real estate market, a substantial number of unsold inventory units still exist. The revival of this scheme presents a chance for numerous young individuals unable to afford private property to attain homeownership. However, addressing this issue necessitates a comprehensive approach as the entire system is interconnected and lacks a straightforward solution. Merely restarting the Home Ownership Scheme as a temporary solution will only worsen more pressing issues.

There seems to be a lack of awareness among government officials regarding the disadvantages associated with relaunching the Home Ownership Scheme. Our politicians and experts either overlook the analysis of this issue along with its relevant statistics or express their opinions without conducting comprehensive research. As far as I can comprehend, undergraduate students strongly prefer applying for government-subsidized rental housing due to their limited financial resources and significant debt burden. Consequently, they consistently meet the eligibility criteria. Data indicates an increasing number of university graduates living in these residential areas.

This clever move, which is their legal right, not only solves their housing problems but also grants them access to the Home Ownership Scheme once it resumes. To illustrate, university students and graduates are just a few examples of the highly qualified individuals eligible for this scheme. However, there is an even larger population of young people without a higher education who are equally qualified. Therefore, it’s easy to imagine the significant challenges our government would encounter when reactivating the Home Ownership Scheme.

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Response of Hong Kong government to the housing problems. (2018, Jan 21). Retrieved from

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