Group floats barge container homes idea

Local | 29 Aug 2018 1:41 pm

A group representing people in the property and construction sector has suggested container homes on barges near the Kai Tak cruise terminal as one of the short-term measures to shelter people who are waiting public housing.

According to government figures, those who apply for public housing have to wait for up to five years for allotment and end up in sub-divided flats till then, RTHK reports.

The Real Property Federation said their "floating city” proposal, costing HK$140 million, could house up to 2,000 people and it’s also much quicker than reclamation to solve short term housing need.

Derrick Yip, the vice-chairman of the federation, said these barge shelters will be safe even if there is a typhoon battering the city.

"We understand that putting the barge in the harbor next to the Kai Tak airport is relatively safe because it is a shelter area. So we don't even typhoon would create any dangerous or whatever things that would create trouble to the ship or the barge," he said.

"More importantly, we think technology nowadays are good in doing all those," Yip said. "Ships now are on the oceans and they are still safe even with people."

The federation also said regulations like building density for public housing should be relaxed for a fixed period of time to boost supply. Among other medium to longer term proposals, the federation backs public-private partnerships and large-scale reclamation to increase land supply

But the group does not favor using the Fanling golf course or the 66 sites that are now leased by private clubs. Yip said the fact that some in the group are also members in some of these facilities is not a reason for their stand.

We have members in all those recreation clubs, but we look at it as a whole picture, Yip said.

"It is very important that we saw that recreation land is very important to Hong Kong and they have been training lot of professional sportsmen," he said. So it is a real asset to Hong Kong, he added.

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