Executive Council members yesterday sought to clear the air over the promise to supply 85,000 flats a year, amid fears the economic slump could put the target out of reach.
Leung Chun-ying said private developers, expected to provide about 35,000 flats, would not be forced to fulfil the target in difficult times.
He added: 'The building of 35,000 flats is to be determined by market forces of demand and supply. But the Government will release sufficient land to cater for the public's long-term need for housing.' Colleague Chung Shui-ming made similar comments, adding that the plan to sell off 50,000 flats from the public sector remained unchanged.
Tam Yiu-chung said he found many people believed a rethink on housing targets should not be ruled out, adding: 'I reckon the supply of public housing, on the rental front especially, should be increased to relieve people's demands on the waiting list.'