The government's quest to build more housing has angered 14 families who will be evicted from their public rental housing in Tai O so the block can be converted into homes for sale.
The Lung Tin Estate's Tin Lee House was originally earmarked for conversion into a youth hostel as part of a scheme to revitalise Tai O. It was chosen because of its high vacancy rate. But the government later decided that the 86-unit block would be upgraded into a Home Ownership Scheme project for sale.
Social worker Eddie Tse Sai-kit, who is helping the residents, said: "This is ridiculous. Officials say the plan was to satisfy home ownership needs but they are kicking out tenants living in it."
The families, who learned of the plan in February, were given just days to sign a removal agreement and offered two options. They could either move out and wait to buy the renovated homes, or relocate to other public rental housing, with a subsidy of HK$4,000 per person if the new homes were outside Tai O.
None of the 14 families signed. Now they are being asked to move out by August.
Tjhang Ritta, 35, who has lived with her husband and two children in the block for eight years, said it was "all right for us to move to another rental unit in Tai O", but the authority should help them furnish the new unit.
A spokesman for the Housing Authority said it would maintain a dialogue with the tenants.