Nearly nine in 10 Hongkongers think prices for small and medium-sized flats are out of the financial reach of an average family and most also support resumption of the subsidised Home Ownership Scheme. This has emerged from a survey two weeks ago by the Democratic Party, which is urging the government to reintroduce the shelved HOS or some other subsidised flats scheme. Overall 86.4 per cent of the 1,172 respondents said flats had become too expensive. But the percentage reached 91.4 per cent for those with a monthly household income of between HK$20,000 and HK$30,000. 'This batch of people faces the greatest pressure to become homeowners,' the party said. The middle-income group also showed the strongest support for the resumption of HOS, with 85 per cent in favour, compared to slightly more than 80 per cent overall. The survey was taken during the just-ended consultation on whether, and if so, how, the government should help people buy their own flats, but before it was disclosed this week that a rent-to-buy scheme was mooted. The party wants the government to loosen the eligibility rules for who can buy pre-owned HOS flats before the owner has settled the premium payment. Owners must pay a premium to the government if they want to sell on the open market. The four-month consultation ended yesterday with 800 proposals received by fax and e-mail and about 5,300 posts on the party's online forum and Facebook page. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors also submitted a proposal which includes suggestions such as increasing and expediting land supply, rezoning land for housing and introducing a 'rent-to-buy' scheme. The South China Morning Post reported on Thursday that the government was planning a scheme under which eligible applicants could rent a flat from the government and later buy it with the accumulated rent offset against the price. Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen will give an account of the results of the consultation in his policy address scheduled for October 13.