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More relaxed income limits debatable

October 25, 2017

Secretary for Transport & Housing Frank Chan says it is questionable whether the income limits under the Well-off Tenants Policies should be further relaxed.

 

He told legislators today the Housing Authority must ensure rational allocation of resources due to the high demand for public rental housing.

 

He said the authority took into account households' ability to take care of their housing needs when revising the policies recently.

 

The revised policies convey a clear message to the community that resources should be allocated to those with more pressing housing needs, he added.

 

Under the revised policies, public rental housing households with private domestic property ownership in Hong Kong, or whose family income exceeds the income limits by five times, or whose total net household assets exceed the limits by 100 times, should vacate their flats.

 

Mr Chan said in deriving the asset limits, the authority, after assessing the selling prices of recently launched subsidised sale flat projects, considered households with assets at 100 times the limits should be able to purchase those flats.

 

When revising the income limits, the authority noted households with an income level reaching five times the limits would belong to the top 7% households in terms of income across different household sizes in Hong Kong, he added.

 

Taking four-person households as an example, Mr Chan said their ability to take care of their housing needs far exceeds that of four-person applicants awaiting public rental housing allocation under the revised income limit of $135,250.

 

Noting media reports that some public rental housing tenants have deleted the tenancy of their offspring with income or assets exceeding the tenancy limits to meet the requirements under the policies, Mr Chan said it would be difficult to determine whether it has any relationship with the policy revisions as it might result from many reasons, such as household members moving out of the units, death, emigration or purchase of flats.

 

He added the authority has all along been implementing different measures in encouraging young people to live with their senior family members.



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