Govt to accept applications for 4,000 HOS flats in Zone A next year

2018-12-07 08:00     Comment:0

Secretary for Transport and Public Works Raimundo do Rosario said in the legislature’s hemicycle yesterday that the government will launch a new round of applications for about 4,000 subsidised home-ownership scheme (HOS) flats on the land reclamation area officially known as Zone A next year.

Zone A lies off the north-eastern coast of the peninsula.

Rosario made the remarks when answering a question from directly-elected lawmaker-cum-unionist Ella Lei Cheng I on the first day of a two-day Q&A session about his portfolio’s policy guidelines for next year.

Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On said in his 2018 Policy Address in November last year that the government expected to launch a new round of applications for HOS flats within two years – before his terms ends in December 2019.

In his 2019 Policy Address presented last month, Chui said that the government would launch a new round of applications for about 4,000 HOS flats next year.

The government’s public housing programme comprises HOS flats and social rental housing units.

HOS flats are much cheaper than their counterparts in the private property market. Social housing rents are also much lower than those in the private market.

Chui reaffirmed in his 2019 Policy Address that the government will continue its existing public housing policy which is that the construction of social rental housing will be given priority over the construction of HOS flats.

The government first said in 2014 that it plans to build 28,000 public housing units in Zone A, the reclamation of which was still being carried out at that time. The reclamation project was completed late last year. Zone A is close to the Macau checkpoint of the Hong Kong- Zhuhai-Macau Bridge (HZMB).

In his 2019 Policy Address, Chui said that the construction of the planned 28,000 public housing units in Zone A would be carried out in four phases, adding that some 7,000 flats would be built on seven plots there in the first phase.

During yesterday’s plenary session, Rosario said that the Infrastructure Development Office (GDI) was processing the plans for the seven public housing projects on the seven plots in Zone A, adding that four of the seven projects had been set aside for HOS flats, providing about 4,000 units.

Rosario said he hoped that the Housing Bureau (IH) could launch the new round of applications for the about 4,000 HOS flats around the middle of next year.

Rosario also said yesterday that 1,300 public housing units were currently under construction. The policy secretary also said that the government had already started preparations for the construction of another 1,500 public housing units, adding that another 34,500 public housing flats would be built in the future – comprising the 28,000 units in Zone A and 6,500 units on the plot of the abandoned La Scala luxury housing project near the airport.

Accompanied by officials under his portfolio, Secretary for Transport and Public Works Raimundo do Rosario (centre, upper row) addresses yesterday’s Q&A session about his portfolio’s 2019 policy guidelines in the legislature’s hemicycle. Photo: GCS


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