Homeowners suffering from negative equity said yesterday's relief measures would not help them much. Helen Wong owns two flats in Kwun Tong and an office in Chai Wan, but all three premises have dropped in value by about 70 per cent since 1997. Her monthly mortgage repayments amount to $30,000 at interest rates of up to seven per cent. The 40-year-old said she still had to pay a total of $48,000 in rates after saving $6,000 with the rate rebate. 'I keep taking new loans to settle the repayments each month and avoid bankruptcy. Mr Tung has caused the collapse of the property market but never thinks about our plight and about helping us out. I feel I have no way out,' she said. Mary Yiu, another property owner in negative equity, welcomed the relief measures but said: 'I'm not going to thank Mr Tung because he is responsible for my plight. I'm worried all the time about how much more the value will drop. I am not going to spend a penny of these savings. The economy is just so bad.' Her flat in Homantin cost her $9.7 million in 1997 but is now worth $5 million. Ms Yiu, a deputy director for an exhibition company, said she could save about $10,000 on rates and the mortgage interest tax deduction. Single parent Lee Kam-yin, who lives with her daughter in the Lai King public housing estate in Kwai Chung, said she welcomed the proposed one-month rent waiver, which would save her $1,389. She said she had short-term casual jobs that paid up to $5,500 per month after she lost her permanent job two years ago. 'I only hope I can get a stable job because I'm afraid I won't be able to keep up my standard of living.'