Poor desperately need shorter waiting lists
I refer to the letter by Elsie Tu headlined 'Scheme did not help low-income families' (South China Morning Post, September 15).
At least there is someone in Hong Kong with compassion and a clear head to remind us - amid the muddy debate on the suspension of sales of Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) flats and the consequent benefits to property barons - of the first priority of Hong Kong's housing policy.
The overriding issue overlooked by most commentators is the insufficient amount of public-rental housing. Public housing should be the first priority of any housing policy. Many poor families have to live in partitioned rooms on the roofs of old buildings. I think the waiting period for public housing is seven to 10 years. This should be shortened.
The poor have suffered particularly hard from the Asian financial crisis and the re-structuring of our economy. The Government should focus more on the urgent need for shorter waiting lists for public housing rather than on the issue of HOS flats.
ALAN SIUYEE WONG