Iris Poon
Iris Poon
Iris Poon senior researcher at Our Hong Kong Foundation.

With land and housing supply lagging behind targets for years, the situation is now dire. The government must expedite all major land supply initiatives, especially the New Development Areas, and streamline procedures.

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The problem stems from a lack of large-scale land development over the past 20 years. Of particular concern is the low proportion of government, large and spade-ready sites. To break this vicious circle, long-term projects must be delivered on time, or even ahead of schedule.

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At the crux of delays is a lack of transparency. An official one-stop platform disclosing the progress of each public housing project would allow government bureaus to be held accountable, and development timelines to be better respected.

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The government’s rose-tinted projections of public flat numbers are not supported by the actual pace of construction and cannot relieve the city’s severe housing crunch. Worse, they take the focus away from the real problem at hand: the shortage of land.

Brownfield sites emerged as a result of negligence in land planning. Developing them, while accounting for the existing businesses and workers on the land, will be more challenging than is commonly thought.