The Housing Society is receiving help from Hong Kong's biggest social services group to promote its plan for interest-free home-renovation loans to elderly property owners. The Hong Kong Council of Social Service announced yesterday that it had been urging its members to promote the Home Renovation Loan Scheme since the start of the month. The council's members provide more than 90 per cent of social services in Hong Kong. Launched in February, the Housing Society's scheme provides a maximum interest-free loan of $50,000 for interior renovations to owners of flats that are at least 20 years old. To qualify, the flats would need to have a government rate of less than $66,000 in urban areas and $50,000 in the New Territories. Applicants cannot own any other properties and must repay the loan within three years. The Housing Society's director of property management, Wong Kit-loong, yesterday said elderly people - who might need the scheme the most because many live in rundown flats - had expressed doubts about it. 'Many of them cannot understand the scheme and it takes more time to explain it to them,' he said. Housing Society executive director Wong Lai-chun said the organisation was not an expert on social services and needed help from council members to contact the elderly and provide services designed specifically for them. She could not provide an estimate of the number of elderly who might need the service. Wong Kit-loong added that the society had received more than 40 applications, about one-third from elderly people. The council's chief executive, Christine Fang Meng-sang, yesterday said its members would not only promote the scheme, but also provide follow-up services to the elderly to monitor the progress of renovations. Meanwhile, the society would give technical advice on renovations.