Social belonging, social capital and the promotion of home ownership : A case study of Hong Kong

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)291-310
Journal / PublicationHousing Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001


The Hong Kong Government is vigorously promoting home ownership, a major rationale being to increase the community's sense of belonging and reduce the rate of emigration. This paper evaluates whether home owners in Hong Kong have a higher sense of social belonging than renters and finds that tenure status is a spurious independent variable in assessing respondents' sense of belonging to Hong Kong. Logistic regression analysis suggests that the significance of tenure is greatly reduced when other variables, namely age, identity, income and foreign abode right are controlled. The analysis also shows that those possessing a comparatively high sense of social belonging tend to bear the identification of Hong Kong Chinese, be older, have high incomes, and hold no foreign right of abode. Of the control variables, the factor of 'identity' appears most influential. Hong Kong's relationship with China, the uncertain nature of a Hong Kong identity and the territory's economic trajectory as a higher order services economy has meant that housing policy, specifically the promotion of home ownership, is perceived by the government as influencing values and behaviour very narrowly defined as promoting social belonging primarily in a territorial of geographical sense, with wider implications of neighbourhood stability unconsidered.

Research Area(s)

  • Home ownership, Hong Kong, Social belonging, Social capital