HOS applicants go whole nine yards

Local | Sophie Hui 11 Jan 2019

At least nine people will be jockeying for each flat in a new subsidized housing project, Lai Tsui Court in Cheung Sha Wan, following a huge number of applications filed by the deadline yesterday.

The Housing Authority received 23,000 applications as of Wednesday, with about 17,000 of those from green-form applicants for Home Ownership Scheme flats as well as 6,000 new applications.

A total of 2,545 flats in four blocks are on offer by the housing agency under the government's Green Form Subsidized Home Ownership Scheme. Public housing tenants are intended to be the primary beneficiaries of the subsidized flats.

The project is the first HOS development since Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor announced two years ago that the scheme would be run regularly after the success of the pilot scheme.

The subsidized flats measure between about 184 square feet to around 452 sq ft, and are being sold at a 58 percent discount to market prices.

Each flat is selling for HK$6,243 per sq ft and prices range from HK$932,500 to HK$3.06 million each.

The ballot for the new batch of flats is expected to be held next month, and those who are selected can choose their flats from March, according to the priority order.

Applicants living in public housing flats have to verify their eligibility at different estate offices before submitting their applications.

They can also submit the forms at estate offices, and they won't need to visit the sales office at Pioneer Place in Kwun Tong.

However, scores of applicants still came to the sales office to submit their applications yesterday morning.

An applicant, surnamed Chung, said the public housing flat where she resides now is bigger than the flats on offer at Lai Tsui Court. Despite this, she is eager to purchase her own property.

"I want to have my own flat so I don't need to keep paying rent. Money can then be used to pay the mortgage," she said. "If I have my own flat, I can hand it down to my daughter and grandchildren."

Another applicant, surnamed Kung, said he wants to improve his living environment. He currently shares a small flat, which only has one bedroom, with his mother. As a result, his mother is forced to sleep in the living room.

"I feel sorry for her, and it's really inconvenient," he said. "I hope it [the new flat] has two bedrooms since I'm grown up and I need space for myself."

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