Hundreds of home buyers seeking bargains waited in line at the Housing Authority, on Friday, to get applications for 5,000 used government-subsidised units being sold under a revised Home Ownership Scheme (HOS).
Among the roughly 600 prospective buyers who turned up at the authority’s customer service centre in Lok Fu on Friday morning, some said they came to get application forms for themselves and some for their adult children. Applications will be accepted fromFriday until January 18.
“Because we don’t have enough space to live together, I am looking for a [bigger] place at a reasonable price,” said Wilson Chan, 46, a catering worker. He lives with his family of six in a purchased 750-square-foot flat in Whampoa.
The authority estimates about 270,000 families could be eligible for the programme, which is open to families with monthly income up to HK$40,000 and assets worth up to HK$830,000. The caps for single buyers are exactly half those figures.
The HOS scheme offers a maximum of loan up to 90 per cent of the purchase price, for up to 25 years, at the best available bank interest rate minus 0.5 per cent.
Many people waiting in line on Friday compared the HOS offer to the “My Home Purchase Plan” programme, by the Hong Kong Housing Society, selling subsidised flats at Greenview Villa in Tsing Yi.
“I think the Home Ownership Scheme flats are more flexible, because I can choose the location,” said Jit Lau, a logistics worker who has been renting a flat with his wife in Wong Tai Sin for several years. “Greenview Villa is fixed [in Tsing Yi].”
He said the monthly household income cap of HK$40,000 for a family was too low, and should be raised to HK$50,000.
The quota will be allocated by ballot, and the Housing Authority will announce the 5,000 successful applications by mid-May this year.
If the same applicant is chosen for both the HOS and Greenview Villa schemes, they can choose either one.