Home loans extended to singles

Chloe Lai

At least 32,500 single people living in private properties will be able to get loans and homes from the Housing Authority after a relaxation of rules.

The authority's home ownership committee yesterday approved the expansion of its Home Ownership Scheme as well as housing loans to single people.

The relaxation came after the Equal Opportunities Commission criticised the Government for discriminating against single people.

The home ownership units available to single people will be two-bedroom flats of up to 50 square metres.

Committee chairman Walter Chan Kar-lok said the move represented an effective use of limited resources, saying: 'We believe a two-bedroom unit will be enough, even if they get married later.' The criteria single people must fulfil are seven years' unconditional stay, a monthly income of less than $15,500 and net assets not exceeding $350,000, as well as possessing no property in the past two years.

Those living in properties can obtain up to $250,000 in an interest-free loan or a monthly mortgage subsidy of $1,700.

Public housing tenants can choose an interest-free housing loan of up to $400,000 or a monthly subsidy of $2,550.