‘Equal right to housing’ in Hong Kong housing policy : perspectives from disadvantaged groups

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)563-582
Journal / PublicationJournal of Housing and the Built Environment
Issue number4
Online published29 Jun 2013
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes


The ‘right to housing’ incorporates at least five different dimensions which are all indispensible for the minimum satisfaction of such right, namely, housing that is adequate and affordable, enjoyed without arbitrary interference or forced eviction, and the right of choice to opt for rent or home-ownership as well as neighbourhood. ‘Equal right to housing’ essentially means equal opportunity or non-discrimination in the fulfillment of all dimensions of ‘right to housing’. In Hong Kong, for those with economic means, the extent of their ‘right to housing’ are largely satisfied; however, this may not be the case for those from the lower socioeconomic strata, especially members of disadvantaged groups from the latter, who are doubly deprived. This paper will examine the views on ‘equal right to housing’ in Hong Kong housing policy from four disadvantaged groups, namely, single-parent families, ethnic minorities, homosexuals and Mainland New Arrivals, by drawing on information from in-depth interviews with members of these groups, representatives of organizations serving these disadvantaged groups, property sector practitioners, Equal Opportunity Commission representative and members of the general public. On the whole, the members of the disadvantaged groups, especially those from the lower socioeconomic strata may not enjoy equal opportunity to different dimensions of the ‘right to housing’ in Hong Kong, mainly due to discriminatory selection of tenants on the part of private landlords as well as the limited economic means of some of them. These may be, to some extent, magnified by some biased practices in public housing policy. This paper will end by examining some of policy implications of ‘equal right to housing’.

Research Area(s)

  • Disadvantaged groups, Equality, Hong Kong, Housing, Right