More transitional houses needed to reduce waiting time for public housing

The Federation of Public Housing Estates suggested government to build more transitional housing to reduce the average waiting time for Hong Kong public housing.

According to the Hong Kong Free Press, the average waiting time for public housing has risen to 5.5 years for general applicants, a record high.

According to the Housing Authority, as of the end of September, there were about 150,200 general applications for public rental housing, with about 117,500 non-elderly single-person applications.

The average waiting time for general applicants stands at 5.5 years, whilst the average waiting time for elderly single-person applicants was 2.9 years.

The Federation of Public Housing Estates said it expects the waiting time to soon exceed six years.

“The three-year goal for residents to be allocated public housing will become a six-year goal,” it said. “It will become impossible for grassroots people to get a flat.”

It suggested the government should build more transitional housing, such as homes fashioned from shipping containers, to resolve the issue.

Federation of Trade Unions lawmaker Kwok Wai-keung said he believed that there were more people waiting for public housing than the official number, since the figures were calculated from those who have already been allocated housing.

“Regardless of the increase in the public housing supply, the number will only rise,” he said.

He said the government should increase the ratio of public to private housing supply from 6:4 to 7:3: “The government must have clear supply figures so it can aim for a goal.” he said.  — Construction+ Online