About 30,000 low-income people who are inadequately housed are expected to benefit from a subsidy launched by the Community Care Fund on Monday.
The charitable trust has set aside HK$91 million to offer allowances under this scheme, which was announced earlier this year but started to receive applications only on Monday.
The trust’s executive committee chairman, Law Chi-kwong, hopes to identify a specific group of low-income people – those who do not receive Comprehensive Social Security Assistance and do not live in public rental housing.
At present, he said, the government did not have figures on how many such people there were so it has been difficult to help them.
“After we identify how many of them there are in the city, we can then come up with other policies to help them,” Law said.
People who wish to apply for this subsidy need to meet several criteria.
They must be living in cubicles, cocklofts, bed spaces in private buildings or temporary housing. Homeless people can also apply.
There is are limits on the average monthly household income the applicants can earn. The limits are HK$8,740, HK$13,410 and HK$17,060 for one-person households, two-person households and three-person households, respectively.
Their monthly rent cannot exceed HK$4,370, HK$6,705, and HK$8,530.
They cannot own any properties or be receiving Comprehensive Social Security Assistance.
Subsidies are HK$3,000 for one-person households, HK$6,000 for two-person households and HK$8,000 for three-person or more.
The application period will run until April 8 next year. Successful applicants will begin to receive the subsidy by the end of next month at the earliest.
The trust will reach the target group through 42 social service centres of 14 non-government organisations across the city.