THE chairman of the Housing Authority, Rosanna Wong, has no doubt about the main task facing her during her time in office. ''I would like to see the promises [incorporated] in the Long Term Housing Strategy (LTHS) achieved,'' she said. ''If it is not possible to do so as presently planned, then I hope we can find a way of meeting these promises. ''This is what the community wants.'' The mid-term review of the LTHS was initiated by Ms Wong to determine how far the aims could be met. ''I'm often asked, 'can we really achieve the targets'?, and by mid-1994 I hope to be able to answer it.'' ''We are already committed to reducing the backlog on the waiting list but, with lower production of housing over the next year or two, can we do it? ''Those on the waiting list are the most needy but tenancy agreements are forever. We should try to encourage people who are better off to purchase their own home or go to the private sector. ''We are using the taxpayers' money, so we cannot subsidise them. ''There are 4,000 elderly people on the waiting list, and 27,000 in poor standard private housing. These are the people who really need public housing,'' she said. The LTHS is at the top of Ms Wong's problems, but there are several other matters that cause her equal concern. ''We need to pay attention to management and maintenance,'' she said. ''With such a large stock of public housing and over 50 per cent of the population occupying it, management is very important. ''We receive a lot of complaints about management - that maintenance is not carried out quickly enough, and complaints about security.'' Ms Wong believes that more dialogue with tenants will help, and despite her busy schedule, she finds time to spend half a day each week visiting estates to talk to people. ''We need to step up both long term and day to day maintenance - something that's easy to say, but difficult to do.'' Not surprisingly, financial arrangements appear near the top of Ms Wong's priorities. In 1988, the government transferred $16 billion as a grant to the Housing Authority and its financial position was very healthy. At the same time, the government set aside a further $10 billion to be used as and when required. The Housing Authority drew down the final $2.3 billion of this amount in 1992/93 and is paying the government five per cent interest on the loan. ''We need to let the government know that the Housing Authority is large and needs to keep reserves for a rainy day,'' said Ms Wong. ''We must not overspend but, if we have a surplus, we must try to use it to improve the tenants' conditions before we give it back to the government. ''We must invest cash sensibly, and we are still in the process of discussing this with the government.'' Ms Wong believes that the Housing Authority needs to be transparent in all it does. As the government is opening up, so is the Housing Authority. ''Our meetings need to be open to the public. Tenants will ask more about how we spend our money. ''We don't want to be overly politicised, but we must be more accountable. We have to interface with the community,'' she said. Ms Wong wants to see more people owning their own homes in the long run, beyond 2001, with public housing providing more than its present 15 per cent share. The problem is deciding how to achieve this, particularly in view of today's high rental demand which is expected to last until 1997, when housing production picks up again. Clearing the backlog on the waiting list and squatter clearance by 1997 will help. Ms Wong agrees that she has a most challenging job, but says that it is too early to feel satisfied. ''I'm still listening and talking to people. There are many problems, and no sooner is one solved than another arrives,'' she said. ''However the Housing Department staff is very good, and the Housing Authority members are most conscientious, and with their help I will do my best. ''If we can do something good for Hong Kong tenants it is good for the territory's social stability.''