Elsie Tu

Poor desperately need shorter waiting lists

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 03 October, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 03 October, 2001, 12:00am

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.


Kowloon Tong