Budget hostels will help young workers

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 November, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 November, 2011, 12:00am


Young people setting out on their working lives will be helped to live away from home by a hostel scheme proposed in the policy address, home affairs officials said yesterday.

In last month's speech, Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen said the government would help NGOs build hostels on land allocated by the administration.

The government has not said how large the hostel units, aimed at housing people between 18 and 30 years old and earning between HK$10,000 and HK$14,000, would be.

Deputy Director of Home Affairs Jack Chan Jick-chi said yesterday that six NGOs had shown an interest in the hostel programme.

The hostels were intended to help young people while they adjusted to being part of the workforce, but not address their long-term housing needs, he said.

'We propose that the income cap for people living in these hostels be about HK$10,000 to HK$14,000 a month [the income range of many university graduates]. If their income is too low, the NGOs think these youngsters should live with their families rather than on their own.'

People with net assets of more than HK$265,000, or who already owned or co-owned residential property in the city, would be excluded from the scheme.

Young people should only plan to live in the hostels on a temporary basis and later move to other, non-subsidised housing, Chan said.

'To facilitate the turnover of hostel places, [tenants may be offered] the most favourable concessionary rent for the initial two to three years of tenancy, after which a less favourable rate will be applied for tenancy renewals,' Chan said.

It was too early to say what the rents would be, but the NGOs would be allowed to set the amounts.

The government estimated that a few hundred units would be available within a year, Chan said.