C.Y. Leung outlines solutions for homebuyers

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 30 August, 2012, 7:40pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 August, 2013, 4:13am

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying on Thursday afternoon announced a series of housing measures to help Hongkongers buy homes amid rising property prices.

Most of the measures involve increasing the supply of new flats to address rising demand in the short and medium term.

Leung said the rental option of the My Home Purchase Plan, a rent-or-buy programme to help those in the “sandwich class”, would be dropped, meaning some 5,000 new flats to be built over the few years would be sold directly.

The first batch consisting 1,000 flats in Tsing Yi would be available and open for application early next year, Leung said.

Some 800 unsold flats under the Home Ownership Scheme, mostly in Tin Shui Wai, would be put up for sale next year.

In the middle-term, Leung said 36 vacant government and community sites would be turned to residential use to provide about 11,900 public and private flats.

The Urban Renewal Authority will also launch two pilot schemes next year to redevelop industrial buildings into residential flats and commercial offices.

On the so-called “flats for Hong Kong people” proposal, Leung said his government had begun drafting laws to create new terms for land sales that would require developers to sell the flats only to Hongkongers.

“Once the conditions are in place the policy can be introduced,” he said.

One long-term housing measure was a plan to launch a new scheme to help Hongkongers buy homes, which would be designed by the Housing Society.

A new steering committee will be set up to assess the housing needs of different community sectors, and to form long-term land and housing policies to meet their needs. The committee will be chaired by Secretary for Transport and Housing Anthony Cheung Bing-leung.

The chief executive said he was concerned about the heated property market given the unstable global economy and high liquidity in international markets.