Call for 10-month rent freeze

PUBLISHED : Monday, 01 September, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 01 September, 1997, 12:00am

Rents for public housing should be frozen for at least another 10 months, the Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood said yesterday.

The party said the freeze would solve deadlocks between the administration and pressure groups.

The pre-handover Legislative Council passed a law providing that rents could be increased every three years instead of two, and pegged increases below 10 per cent of average income. But Secretary for Housing Dominic Wong Shing-wah has delayed implementing the law, describing it as unreasonable and with a negative financial impact.

Party vice-chairman Bruce Liu Sing-lee said the administration could only amend the bill when the first elected legislature was in place.

'The first Legislative Council is a body to formally handle legislation. The provisional legislature is only for scrutinising laws that are indispensable to the SAR,' he said. 'The law related to rent increases is not indispensable.' Leading a 200-strong petition group to the Chief Executive's Office yesterday, Mr Liu said all public housing rent should remain unchanged for the time being.

Rent increases for 30 per cent of tenants were due to take effect today but have been delayed pending a review by the Housing Authority.

But Mr Liu said the frozen increase could be backdated when amendments had been passed by the Legco due to be elected in May.