The Government last night voiced its opposition to the Housing Society's proposal to build flats on the mainland for Hong Kong people. Information Co-ordinator Stephen Lam Sui-lung said the administration did not support the scheme because the society was a public body. 'The Housing Society is an organisation that provides public housing for Hong Kong people,' he said. 'The Government does not support any plan for it to engage in real estate development outside Hong Kong.' Housing Society chairman Timothy Chung Shui-ming, who is also an Executive Council member, said on Wednesday that the housing body was studying the feasibility of building flats on the mainland for Hong Kong people as it searched for a new role amid declining demand for public housing. He said the society would only invest $1 billion, or five per cent of its $20 billion reserve, in mainland projects. Mr Lam said the Government acknowledged that the Housing Society was an autonomous body, but a government source last night questioned whether the society could legally build flats outside Hong Kong. Under the Housing Society Incorporation Ordinance, it is only authorised to invest in land and buildings in Hong Kong. Ho Hei-wah, a member of the society, said it should concentrate on Hong Kong. 'There are other social problems such as cage homes and street-sleepers that the Housing Society should deal with.' Mr Ho said Housing Bureau officials were furious about the plan because it would further dampen the local property market. The plan was revealed four days after the Government imposed a 10-month sales freeze on more than 12,000 subsidised flats in a series of measures to boost the ailing property market. The sale of two Housing Society projects in Tuen Mun and Tseung Kwan O, with 1,600 flats, was also suspended. The mainland plan will be discussed at a meeting of the Housing Society's Executive Committee on September 27. Democrat Albert Ho Chun-yan, vice-chairman of the Legco housing panel, said he doubted the housing body was empowered to build on the mainland under the ordinance. He said he would raise the matter at a panel meeting on Monday. Surveyor Pang Siu-kei said the scheme, if launched, would adversely affect property prices in districts near the border. Mr Chung could not be contacted for comment last night, but a Housing Society spokesman said the scheme was just one of its business plans and the body had not discussed it with the administration.