Providing a housing lifeboat

January 29, 2023

I hope my child will have a desk and a good study environment.”


“I hope there will be more space and my family will live happily. This is all I want.”


A couple of simple wishes expressed by subdivided unit tenants. Wishes that are likely echoed by the more than 100,000 households living in subdivided units.


To address the short-term public housing shortage, the Chief Executive announced in the 2022 Policy Address that about 30,000 light public housing (LPH) units will be completed in five years. Together with the number of traditional public housing units to be completed in the same period, the overall public housing supply will be increased by about 50%.


Home sweet home
Secretary for Housing Winnie Ho brought a group of subdivided unit tenants to a mock-up of a light public housing unit for a preview of their future homes.


Adopting a standardised design, the mock-up of about 330 sq feet is equipped with basic facilities.


Introducing the unit, Ms Ho said: “You can see that they have individual toilets and cooking space. They are not very big, but at least decent.”  


Affordable rent
As with traditional public rental housing, the LPH units come in different sizes.


Families of four to five members can rent a unit of the same size as the mock-up for $2,650, which is around 90% of the cost of newly built traditional public rental housing in the same district.  


One of those viewing the mock-up was Mrs Leung who lives in a subdivided unit in Sham Shui Po with her parents-in-law, husband, 14-year-old son and baby daughter.


Having been on the waiting list for public housing for more than four years now, the family is looking forward to the improvement in their living conditions.


“It is amazing. Our family will feel very comfortable living here. We can have our own beds,” Mrs Leung said.


Sound structures
The Architectural Services Department is building the 30,000 units and adopting Modular Integrated Construction technology, thereby speeding up construction.


“The same standards will be applied to light public housing, so there is no doubt about safety, structural stability and things like that. This building can withstand any level of typhoon in Hong Kong because it follows all the building codes of construction in Hong Kong,” Ms Ho explained.


The housing chief reiterated that LPH will provide an imperative lifeboat to those with urgent housing needs, especially families living in subdivided units in poor conditions.


“I use this term 'lifeboat' to describe light public housing because a lifeboat is life-saving. It is fast and to the point, to help those people who are really in need.”


Those on the waiting list for traditional PRH for three years or more may apply for LPH and priority will be given to family applicants.

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