(Policy address) Affordable starter homes for middle-class families

Local | 11 Oct 2017 12:28 pm

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, (pictured), said in her maiden policy address that the Government will provide the proposed affordable "Starter Homes” units for middle-class families only on the premise that the existing supply of public housing will not be affected.

Land supply for "Starter Homes” will have to come from sites already owned by private developers or to be bought from the Government.

‘"The initial thinking of the government is to incorporate provisions into the land lease to require developers to pursue mixed developments, i.e., to design, build and offer for sale a specified number of "Starter Homes” units in addition to private housing units, and to sell these units to target buyers who meet the eligibility criteria set by the Government."

These criteria include, among others, Hong Kong residents who have lived in Hong Kong for seven years or more and have never owned any property in the city. Their income will fall between the income limits for home ownership scheme applicants and about 30 percent higher than the HOS limits.

Based on the prevailing HOS income limits, the upper income limit for the new scheme will be set at not exceeding HK$34,000 a month for singletons and HK$68,000 for households with two or more members.

Lam also said the prices and sizes of such units will be determined having regard to the affordability of eligible buyers. The alienation restrictions may be tighter than those for the HOS.

The government will need to further consider how to deal with the subsidy given to the buyers at the time of purchase, i.e., the issue of premium payment, Lam added.

‘’Details of the scheme will be finalized for announcement in mid-2018, so as to dovetail with our proposal to launch a pilot scheme by the end of next year using a residential site at Anderson Road, Kwun Tong on the Government’s Land Sale Program to provide about 1,000 residential units.’’

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