Government should turn more factories into affordable flats

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 11 October, 2016, 4:59pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 11 October, 2016, 11:05pm

I refer to the report, “Factory turned into affordable homes for poor” (October 6).

The government joined forces with a social enterprise to get this housing project off the ground, providing good-quality but affordable homes for citizens from the grass roots.

Although the “Sham Tseng Light Housing” project in an abandoned textile factory can only provide a home for up to 90 families, it is making a difference. I believe that initiatives like this in these old industrial buildings can offer one way to address the city’s housing problem and help families in need.

This is a policy which the government should maintain with as many old factories as possible being adapted. It revitalises these old buildings and is a sensible use of land. A building that is empty and occupying land can finally be put to good use and offer some low-income families a decent quality of life.

We have to utilise the resources that are available in the best possible way.

These 90 grass-roots families will be freed from paying high rents in private flats where they often have to endure substandard conditions. In this project, they will pay between HK$3,000 and HK$5,000 a month.

One of the tenants said he would be able to save more money, as the rent he was paying would account for only a quarter of his salary, compared with more than half if he lived in a private flat.

Therefore, it is clear that projects like this can relieve the financial pressure that so many grass-roots families feel in Hong Kong.

I would now like to see the government helping to ensure that these conversion projects in old industrial buildings can be done on a much bigger scale throughout Hong Kong, so that more citizens on low incomes can be sure of getting a pleasant apartment.

Joyce Lee, Kowloon Tong