Public housing in Hong Kong : A question of safeguarding rational allocation of resources

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

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  • Julie K.W. Mo
  • Lai Yin Ng


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)079-088
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal for Housing Science and Its Applications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1997


Large scale public housing in Hong Kong was introduced in the mid 1950s as an emergency relief to accommodate victims of squatter fires and natural disaster. This has developed into an extensive programme which houses half of Hong Kong's population (approximately 3.1 million people). The underlying premises of public housing policy in Hong Kong is to provide public rental housing subsidy to low income families. However, due to the economic boom in the 80s and early 90s, many of the original occupants of the public rental housing have prospered and their affordability has increased beyond the set income limit. To ensure a reasonable distribution of the public rental housing resources, Hong Kong Housing Authority has proposed a recovery of flats from well-off tenants. The objective of the proposed policy is to cultivate an awareness among public rental households that the public rental housing is a public asset and the better-off tenants should be induced to give up their flats for other means of accommodation. This proposal is seen to be controversial and has aroused much public concern. This paper reviews the issues relating to the need for such proposal and examines the implication of the implementation of this policy.