Options to rent or buy Hong Kong flats aimed at keeping residents
But worries remain there may not be enough homes to rent at redeveloped estate
Those living in the city’s only privately owned low-cost rental housing would be encouraged to remain on their estate after redevelopment under a new plan.
The 1,337 families living on Tai Hang Sai Estate would be given the option to rent or purchase flats under the first phase of work, according to the developer, the Hong Kong Settlers Housing Corporation.
The corporation, of which Henderson Land chairman Lee Shau-kee is a director, unveiled further details of the Shek Kip Mei site on Thursday after residents called for redeveloped flats to be reserved for rental.
While Man Lok House and Man Hong House would be the first two blocks to be developed, one would be converted into 560 rental flats, and the other would offer 729 subsidised flats for sale, with priority in both instances given to existing residents.
By 2024, when the first phase of redevelopment is expected to be completed, 823 rental flats, including 263 in Man Tai House, would be made available.
“[We] hope the new arrangement will satisfy residents’ requests to resettle on the estate,” the corporation said.
As well as remaining on the estate, residents may also return their rental flats and receive cash compensation.
Details of a second phase, which will offer 3,636 flats in four redeveloped blocks, would be announced once a deal had been agreed with residents.
“We will arrange individual home visits to residents affected by the redevelopment plan and offer the most appropriate arrangement,”a spokesman for the corporation said.
Au Yeung Kit-chun, chairwoman of a residents’ concern group, welcomed the offer of both rental and sales options.
But she was worried there may not be sufficient rental flats to meet the demand and called for a meeting with the corporation.
Au Yeung said there still would still not be lifts in Man Tai House after redevelopment.
“What if residents hoped to stay in a building equipped with lifts?” she asked.
There was also concern on the size of flats and the level of rents.
The corporation spokesman said they would take references from public housing in deciding rents and the prices of flats.
Home visits to be carried out by social workers in an attempt to understand individual needs would start soon and be completed in four to six months’ time.