Public Eye

Opinion: affordable housing a distant dream for ordinary Hongkongers

Michael Chugani says residents in city should blame all parties involved, including politicians, tycoons and themselves

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 04 April, 2017, 4:51pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 04 April, 2017, 7:10pm

Here’s my message to ordinary Hongkongers: forget affordable housing. It’s never going to happen. You are doomed to live in subdivided slum flats that can eat up half your monthly pay. Some may qualify for public housing but the wait is long. Try not to die before it’s your turn.

If you have caring but cashless parents, uncles, and aunts, they can pool their savings to get you on the housing ladder. But don’t forget HK$3 million will only buy you a 160 sq ft coffin flat. So shun marriage like the plague. As ousted legislator Yau Wai-ching infamously noted, coffin homes are too cramped to make love.

If you foolishly decide to take the plunge and somehow manage to consummate your marriage in cramped quarters, wear protection because baby makes three. A 160 sq ft home divided by three leaves each of you less space than the Stanley Prison cell former chief executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen now occupies.

Here’s where we can find the land to help solve the housing crisis

Yes, you’re in deep poop. And there’s no way you can climb out. That makes you angry as hell. How can it be that you live in one of the world’s wealthiest cities and have a university degree yet barely earn more than HK$10,000 a month which locks you out of even buying a home the size of a parking space?

If you want to blame somebody, blame everybody, yourself included. Hong Kong’s first post-handover chief executive Tung Chee-hwa’s grand vision of 85,000 subsidised homes a year went up in a puff of smoke. Successor Donald Tsang froze land sales and home ownership flats. Leung Chun-ying promised the moon but home prices went up, not down, in the five years he’s been chief executive.

And the property tycoons? Their blood-sucking greed sickens me too much to waste words on them. Idiotic Hongkongers with a herd mentality bare their necks for the tycoons to sink their teeth into by rushing to pay HK$11 million for 450 sq ft flats. The more they rush, the faster the tycoons raise prices.

And you? You’re either part of the herd mentality or an aspiring home-owner fighting for pie-in-the-sky true democracy, giving opposition legislators a blank check to focus on nothing else while the tycoons sucker you and leaders make empty promises. You’re as much to blame, so get used to your slum subdivided flat.