Hong Kong housing

Hong Kong Urban Renewal Authority agrees to subsidised homes plan at Kai Tak

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 01 April, 2015, 1:06am
UPDATED : Monday, 20 April, 2015, 12:51pm

The Urban Renewal Authority board has given the green light to a controversial plan to convert some flats at the authority's Kai Tak project, De Novo, into subsidised homes for sale at the suggestion of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, it was learned.

About 300 subsidised flats at De Novo will go on sale as early as next year. De Novo had been intended to provide an alternative to cash payouts for owners of property taken over by the URA.

The flats, with saleable areas bigger than 400sq ft, will target middle-income families who cannot afford private housing but are considered too rich for subsidised Housing Authority Home Ownership Scheme flats.

Prices are expected to be set at about 75 per cent of the flats' market value, according to authority services. The market values would be about HK$14,000 to HK$15,000 per sq ft, so the cost of a typical 400 sq ft flat under the scheme would start at about HK$4 million.

"The initial idea is that families with incomes of about HK$50,000 a month or below shall be eligible to apply", said an authority source. The family income limit for HOS applicants is about HK$48,000.

The plan was endorsed at yesterday's board meeting, but further details must be worked out.

Leung asked for help from statutory bodies in offering subsidised flats in his policy address in January.

Economist Dr Andy Kwan Cheuk-chiu said the supply from the authority would be too small to have any impact. "The authority's main role is to do urban redevelopment," he said.

Additional reporting by Ng Kang-chung