Steering committee takes 'dynamic' approach to housing strategy

New model considers impact of social and economic factors, housing chief says

PUBLISHED : Friday, 22 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 22 February, 2013, 3:44am

A government committee set up to give advice on drafting the city's long-term housing strategy has decided to adopt a dynamic model, the Secretary for Transport and Housing said yesterday.

Speaking after the fourth Long Term Housing Strategy Steering Committee meeting, Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung said this model was different from the one the government used in its last long-term housing strategy in 1998.

The model that the committee adopted, Cheung explained, comprises two concepts: stock and flow.

In the stock concept, the committee would look into whether there was a shortage of housing and the number of people that were being inadequately housed.

In the flow concept, the committee would consider the number of immigrants entering the city and the number of emigrants leaving it.

The committee would also take into account the city's ageing population as well as the number of those who have to be housed temporarily as their home undergo redevelopment.

Asked why the committee picked such a model, Cheung said: "We take into account the flow concept because it is more dynamic.

"[Through this model,] we can see the impact of social and economic factors [on housing needs], so we think this … can more accurately forecast the new housing demand."

Cheung also said the model would focus mainly on the housing needs of the local population and "will not indefinitely consider all local and overseas investment demand". Otherwise, the focus of the city's long-term housing strategy would be shifted, he said.

Clarifying Cheung's remarks, committee member Michael Choi Ngai-min said that investment in housing would not be a consideration in the model. He said this was the right decision to make as the focus of the strategy should be the housing demand of the Hong Kong people.

The model would calculate the "net growth of households", taking into account factors such as how many people were getting married and needed a house as well as the number of people who died, Choi said.

The committee - which is made up of 18 members and a chairman, the Secretary for Transport and Housing - is expected to complete a consultation document in the middle of next year for public discussion.