THE price of Home Ownership Scheme flats could shrink after the handover after a suggestion by a Preliminary Working Committee (PWC) study group to delink their cost from the private property market. A report by the PWC social and security sub-group's housing study group criticises the cost of Home Ownership Scheme flats as already out of many people's reach. The report will be deliberated on Sunday by the sub-group. It is understood the Government also comes in for criticism for the profits generated from selling the flats at a high price. 'The profit . . . is large enough to fund the building cost of another flat,' a source said. The study group believes flat-buyers in the scheme are subsidising the development of HOS projects, and the Government's actual contribution is minimal. It is also unreasonable to link HOS prices with private premises when too many other factors such as speculation are involved, the source added. The main aim of the HOS is to help those eager for a flat of their own, not to make a profit, the study group emphasised. The price of HOS flats should be set on the basis of construction cost and the income level of residents. Market prices should be used for reference, and should not be the main factor in price setting, it added. The price of HOS flats after 1997 is expected to be lowered, the source said, to encourage more people to buy their own flats.