Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah said yesterday that 860 flats will be ready for sale in 2016 as part of the Home Ownership Scheme.
The three-tower-block project in Tsuen Wan was slated to be on land formerly occupied by factories and represented a step towards realising the government's pledge of converting more industrial sites for residential use, Tsang said in his official blog yesterday.
The flats are to be built on Sha Tsui Road opposite the New Haven private development. 'Demand for factory buildings has decreased [since most factory production has migrated to the mainland]. Some of the factory sites are easily accessible and they are ideal locations for residential development,' Tsang said.
Another method being considered to increase housing supply was to build more flats on top of or near train stations, he added.
Tsang promised the government would spare no effort in identifying sites suitable for residential use, disclosing that the government had been looking into the development of potential plots covering a total of 2,500 hectares. 'It is about one-tenth of the developed land of Hong Kong,' Tsang said.
He said he appreciated residents' concerns that building more flats near their homes could possibly block their views or affect air circulation in their areas, but he called on people to be more tolerant.
'Land resources are scarce. There is a need for the government to make the best use of suitable land to build residential units after striking a balance for all concerned,' he said.
'Sometimes, we may not be able to fully meet all of the demands of local residents.'
Increasing land supply is one of the major policy objectives of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying. He has also pledged to carry on an initiative of his predecessor Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, who last year announced the resumption of the HOS programme to help lower middle-income families own homes.
Sites in Sha Tin and Yuen Long have also been identified for the scheme. On Saturday , Housing Minister Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung said the government would launch a long-term review of housing needs over the next 10 years.