Sandwich class housing loan scheme clarified

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 January, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 January, 1994, 12:00am

I REFER to the article that appeared in the Property Post January 12, 1994, regarding Hong Kong Housing Society's sandwich class housing loan scheme.

Since some information contained in the article fails to give an accurate account of the scheme, I would like to elaborate on some basic elements and rectify some inaccuracies.

The objective of the sandwich class housing loan scheme is to provide middle-income families in Hong Kong with assistance in home purchases.

These families are ineligible to apply for public housing and are unable to afford a flat on the private market. The scheme targets those families who want to become home owners in Hong Kong, but not those who want to buy a home as an investment, or to become home owners in a place other than Hong Kong.

To ensure such an objective is met, the Housing Society needs to impose certain terms and conditions regarding the resale of property.

The Housing Society considers the imposition of such terms and conditions not only as necessary but also as effective in guarding against abuse by those who do not have a genuine need of our assistance.

It is also the responsibility of the Housing Society to ensure that the money granted by the Government for the execution and implementation of the scheme is being used to benefit those who have a genuine need.

Regarding the condition that successful applicants be allowed to purchase property valued at $3 million or below, I would like to explain that this limit has been set after careful consideration of a typical applicant's repayment capability.

For an applicant with a total monthly income between $20,001 and $40,000 (the income limit of the Scheme), a loan of a greater amount will mean heavier repayment, which may cause too high a financial burden to the applicant.

In addition, may I also point out that the Housing Society has issued more than 200 ''certificates of eligibility'' (a document granted to a short-listed applicant who has fulfilled all the requirements under the scheme) and that this number will continue to grow until the quota for Phase I of the scheme is filled.

Lastly, for accuracy, ''Wong Lai-chun'', the undersigned, is director (estate management) of the Housing Society, not the Housing Authority. They are two different organisations.

WONG LAI-CHUN Director, Estate Management, Hong Kong Housing Society