The government's proposal to sell the remaining 4,000 flats built under the shelved subsidised housing scheme was endorsed by the Housing Authority yesterday. Nearly 1,200 of the flats are in Tin Shui Wai, while another 1,110 are in Yau Tong and 539 in Ma On Shan. The rest are scattered in different parts of Hong Kong. Four in five of the flats, built before the Home Ownership Scheme was halted eight years ago, will be reserved for public housing tenants. The decision by the authority's subsidised housing committee came amid calls for the government to help middle-income earners buy flats as home prices surge. But committee chairman Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung emphasised that most of the flats were intended for public housing tenants. 'The HOS flats have long been intended for public housing tenants. Our policies and practices are always based on that and I think it should be maintained,' Cheung said. The ratio of flats offered to public housing tenants and other buyers should be similar to that in previous rounds of sales, when 80 per cent were offered to public tenants. Details - including the prices at which the flats will be offered and the the income and asset limits for applicants who don't live in public housing - would be discussed at another meeting in May, he said. Cheung said the meeting in May would also discuss ways to revitalise sales of second-hand HOS flats and whether the building of new ones should resume. 'Members have requested we discuss resuming building HOS flats because we think this issue will affect overall housing policy,' committee member and legislator Dr Joseph Lee Kok-long said. Dozens of protesters demonstrated outside the Housing Authority headquarters in Ho Man Tin as the committee met. Most urged the resumption of HOS flat construction on the grounds this would help middle- and low-income families buy homes. The committee also agreed to earmark 398 HOS flats in the New Territories for households affected by the building of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong high speed railway. The prices, after a discount of 30 per cent, range from HK$404,700 to more than HK$2 million. Also approved at yesterday's meeting were increases in the income and asset limits for tenants of public housing. They will go up by an average of 1.2 per cent and 2.5 per cent respectively. For a four-person family, the income limit will go up from HK$15,800 to HK$16,070 next month, while the asset limit will be HK$384,000, up from HK$375,000.