Updated at 2.13pm: The Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands Michael Suen Ming-yeung on Wednesday warned of the difficulties in maintaining the quality of public housing if the Housing Authority (HA) was forced to lower rents. Speaking at a Legco meeting on housing affairs, Mr Suen said the HA would have to charge tenants about $1,000 every month if it was to readjust rents under the ordinance which took effect in 1998. 'I doubt if we can maintain the quality of the facilities and services provided in public housing with just $1,000 each month,' Mr Suen told lawmakers. Under the law, the Authority can not charge rent on public housing estates of more than 10 per cent of the tenants' average household income. He added that the Government could not subsidise public housing indefinitely as it was now facing financial difficulties. The housing chief said the HA would study the court's verdict seriously before making a decision next week on whether to lodge an appeal. Mr Suen said the decision not to refund and reduce rents was not based on financial considerations. He said the HA would have to wait until the courts issued an order. The legislators passed a motion calling for a public housing rent reduction according to the rent-to-median-income ratio required by law. Some 50 public housing tenants on Wednesday morning protested outside the Legco building urging the Government to reduce public housing rents.