Henderson Land (0012) chairman Lee Shau-kee's plan to donate some of his vast New Territories land holdings for the building of affordable homes is being revised, according to East Week magazine, a sister publication of The Standard.
Under the initial proposal, the government was to have built small homes priced around HK$1 million on farmland donated by Lee, with the price tag derived from the estimated construction cost.
Now it is being said that the pricing mechanism of the units would be similar to those sold under the Home Ownership Scheme, which is to offer buyers a discount to the market price.
Prices under this scheme are probably higher than HK$1 million. The cheapest flat in Tin Chung Court in Tin Shui Wai, which was part of a short piling scandal, is now selling for HK$1.28 million.
Lee had said the affordable homes would be sold to young people as local flat prices are too high for them to afford.
The government believes Lee's original idea is not feasible as it goes against the current policy on subsidized housing, East Week reported.
Lee told the weekly that the government had reservations about his original plan as it could be unfair to the grass roots. Therefore, both parties are now exploring other possibilities.
Up to 10,000 homes could be built on the seven land parcels Lee had originally proposed to give to the government.
But Lee conceded that some of the sites face several planning issues such as a lack of transport links and geographical constraints.
Under the new proposal, Lee said he may first give away one or two small sites that could accommodate up to 1,000 homes.
"Some of them [currently] lack power and water supply connections, so we'll try with one or two sites," he said.
He added: "It will take at least one more month to finalize the details."