Legislators yesterday criticised a new government public housing measure as unfair and warned it would effectively disqualify more than 10,000 low-income families from the waiting list for subsidised homes. They also urged the administration to drop its policy forbidding former owners of subsidised public flats from applying for public rental housing, saying red tape should not prevent people from receiving help. At a Legco housing panel meeting, most lawmakers said the new measure would impose another burden on the poor. Under the Housing Authority's proposal, income and asset limits for public rental flats would be lowered by between three and 17 per cent. A family of four should be earning less than $14,200 a month to be eligible to apply, down from the previous $16,400. Lawmakers said more than 10,000 from the waiting list would lose the chance to have decent housing. The head of the authority's corporate strategy unit, Carlson Chan, said exemptions would be given to some applicants. Democrat Fred Li Wah-ming said the plan was especially unfair for those on the waiting list. 'Many of those on the list are living in board-partitioned rooms and would just fall above the new means-test limits. Why is the Government ignoring their plight?' he asked. Lee Cheuk-yan, of the Confederation of Trade Unions, said: 'What you are doing is kicking people off the list and condemning them to suffer lives in board-partitioned rooms.' At the same meeting, some lawmakers urged the Government to drop its policy of barring people who previously owned government-subsidised flats from applying for public rental housing. Frederick Fung Kin-kee, leader of the Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood, said one of his constituents trying to apply was told by officials that unless he became divorced he would not be considered a special case. But Principal Assistant Secretary for Housing Joey Lam Kam-ping said as such residents had been helped by the Government before, they would not be given subsidies again. This was to ensure a fair allocation of resources.