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  • Dec 19, 2014
  • Updated: 7:36am

CY Leung policy address 2013

Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying delivered his maiden policy address on January 16, 2013, in which he unveiled a blueprint that will set policy direction in the next five years. Acknowledging soaring property prices and cramped living conditions, he said his top priority is housing.

NewsHong Kong
WELFARE

Waiting list for subsidised elderly homes may last 50 years

As thousands queue for subsidised homes, the 1,700 places pledged by chief executive in his policy address are likely to have little impact

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 19 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 19 January, 2013, 7:48am
 

Clearing the waiting list for government-subsidised homes for the elderly could take up to 50 years if provision increases at the pace outlined in the chief executive's policy address.

While Leung Chun-ying pledged on Wednesday to add more than 1,700 subsidised places by 2014-15, there were 28,692 people on the waiting list last month.

With an average of about 570 new places being rolled out each year that would mean, in theory, it would take 50 years to clear the queue. But an accurate figure is impossible; as places become available, more people are added to the list and many die waiting.

The queue for subsidised care homes has grown 22 per cent from 23,553 in 2007.

Labour and Welfare Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung said yesterday he wanted to be able to promise a target waiting time, but added: "The difficulty lies not only with the government, but the circumstances. When applying for care homes, the elderly can choose a district. Some even indicate which home they prefer, while some name a preferred religious background."

The Post also found that 95 per cent of the 1,714 expected new subsidised places announced by Leung had been pledged by his predecessor, Donald Tsang Yam-kuen.

Leung said on Wednesday the government would explore incorporating homes for the elderly into redevelopment projects and converting vacant buildings.

Of 11 proposed sites for new homes, five are designated for redevelopment by the government or the Urban Renewal Authority.

But honorary chairwoman of the Elderly Services Association Grace Li Fai said he was "playing with the figures". His proposal would not solve the "pressing shortage" of subsidised places as the 11 sites would take a decade to be developed, even if approved.

"Over 20,000 elderly people have been waiting for care homes, and some 6,000 of them died during their wait each year. How will the several hundred extra places meet their demand?" She said it would be quicker to push up supply by converting vacant government shopping malls or car park buildings into subsidised elderly homes.

Chan Pui-yi, deputy chief executive of the Hong Kong Christian Service, said the ground floors of new public housing blocks should be set aside for care homes.

URA chairman Barry Cheung Chun-yuen urged the government to exempt old people's homes from the gross floor area calculations of private flat sites as an incentive to developers.

Lawmaker Dr Fernando Cheung Chiu-hung criticised Leung's administration for not requiring private developers to set aside a certain amount of space for homes for the elderly and said his efforts to increase supply lacked clear direction.

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This article is now closed to comments

megafun
50 years wait, and you can only start at 65, well, my simple addition makes it 105 when I get into one of these. Really tha isn't much good is it? CY??
edison0426
in fact, it is hard to tackle the shortage of House. Living numerous people are more than the land which can be used as a house. as this report indicates that there are over 28000 people in the waiting list, there are only nearly 2000 subsidised horse being published, the demand is higher than supply. if i was the government, it would be a great challenging to me.
i support government trying their best to solve the problem. they try to use new place to be used in the housing which may be hindered by original planing in order to increase the supply of the housing.
mercedes2233
Maybe if people didn't continue to harass the Govt., it can carry on with its job. It is easy to just criticise.
rpasea
We better put our 20 year old son on the list just in case!
mcheung
That's exactly what most people do anyway, for the public rental housing and also for the subsidized home purchase, while their income is low now. The civil servants were and still are not doing their job properly in checking whether some of the existing public housing tenants are still eligible.

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