Ageing society

Bigger East Lantau new town may be great for Hong Kong elderly, but what about rents?

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 15 September, 2018, 1:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 15 September, 2018, 1:00am

I read with interest the article, “Our ageing population needs more space to stay healthy” (September 12) by Lam Ching-choi, Executive Council member and Elderly Commission chair.

Mr Lam is “in favour of the Enhanced East Lantau Metropolis plan, which proposes to reclaim 2,200 hectares of land in the central waters between Hong Kong Island and Lantau Island”, for elderly care and community facilities. However, I did not see any mention of the word r-e-n-t.

Imagine this scene. It’s the year 2030, and seniors are eating yum cha together. One elderly woman looks at her mobile and shouts: “Great news! The first flat complex in the Enhanced East Lantau Metropolis is ready to open! We will have 50 per cent more floor space. Thanks to government subsidies, the rent will be 25 per cent less than what we are now paying in this old neighbourhood. Let’s go online now and lease one-person flats in the same or adjacent buildings, so that we will not be separated from each other. On ground level, among all the upscale boutique stores, I’m sure there will be a couple of noodle shops for inexpensive yum cha. Hurry!”

However, if the rent is even higher than what they pay now, and all the stores and restaurants are upscale, how many seniors will move to the new town?

Michael J. Sloboda, Tsim Sha Tsui