|URA revises income and assets limits for De Novo sales
The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) has decided to lower income and asset limits for individuals applying for flats at its first subsidized housing project – De Novo in Kai Tak.
The monthly income limit has been set at HK$33,500 and the new asset ceiling will be HK$1.5 million.
The authority's chairman, Victor So, said the board made the decision to lower the limits after seeking legal advice.
URA had previously only allowed couples and families to apply. It had placed a HK$60,000 cap on monthly household income for eligibility. Applicants were also barred from holding any property over the past five years, and could not have assets worth more than HK$3 million.
Sources had said that the authority’s u-turn to allow individuals to apply for its subsidized housing project came after the Equal Opportunities Commission stepped in to point out that curb on sales to individuals was unlawful.
The EOC confirmed that it had received an inquiry from a member of the public in July, who suggested that limits on sales to individuals could be discriminatory. It wrote to the URA, saying that it had to explain why individuals were excluded from the sale.
Under the Family Status Discrimination Ordinance, it is unlawful to discriminate against a person on the basis of their family status.—RTHK