The remaining housing target announced by Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa in his first term could be scrapped, it emerged yesterday - the sixth day of his second term. Michael Suen Ming-yeung, the new Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands, said yesterday the situation had changed and there was no need to aim at strictly fulfilling a target. 'As a target itself, [the 70 per cent ownership rate] is not a big problem,' Mr Suen said. 'What is important is whether we have set the target too rigidly by requiring us to meet it in a prescribed time limit by means of administrative measures. My view is that we should let the market force operate.' After he became chief executive in 1997, Mr Tung announced that the government wanted 70 per cent of families to own their homes by 2007. 'The situation has changed over the past few years and perhaps there is a need to revise the target,' Mr Suen said, adding he had not discussed his views with Mr Tung. Originally, Mr Tung had also said the government would supply 85,000 flats a year. But the target was scrapped a year later, although Mr Tung did not disclose it until 2000. None of his aides knew until Mr Tung made the disclosure. Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary for Housing, Leung Chin-man, said yesterday that a working group had been set up to study the policy on public estate rents. The study will look into whether the Housing Ordinance, which caps rents at 10 per cent of tenants' incomes, should be amended. Mr Leung promised that before adjusting the rents, the government would take tenants' ability to pay into account. He said a report was expected late this year.