Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor was highly concerned about the supply of public housing when she suggested the Housing Authority pay cash subsidies to families queuing for public flats, said chairman of the Housing Authority Frank Chan Fan.
Speaking in a radio program, Chan said he will not take Lam's proposal personally, as it only showed how much she cares about the construction of public housing.
"The Housing Authority has been using all means, including new construction methods like modular integrated construction and other new technologies, to build houses as soon as possible," he said.
"When I had a chat with colleagues at the Housing Authority, they were in tears, as they are putting their best foot forward while they also feel the pressure."
But Chan said the use of modular integrated construction method - using prefabricated materials to speed up the construction process - heavily depends on the size, terrain and road conditions of the construction site. He said they plan to use the method for projects above the transport interchange in Tung Chung and Lam Tin, and at Anderson Road Quarry too.
Chan added that "it will take four to five years on average [to build public housing], while a story with 20 flats will take six days, which is already quite quick as compared to Singapore."
Secretary for Development Michael Wong Wai-lun sought to allay concerns that multiple big reclamation projects will complicate the sourcing of relevant materials.
"We did not encounter a shortage problem in reclamation materials even when we had two major reclamation projects - building a third runway for the Hong Kong International Airport and the new development area in Tung Chung - going on at the same time," Wong said.
He added that the Kau Yi Chau artificial island reclamation project "will need 250 to 300 million tonnes of reclamation materials," over half of which would be inert construction waste from Hong Kong landfills, and the remaining areas will be filled with artificial sand from a quarry in Guangdong province.
Meanwhile, the government dismissed claims that it will introduce light industry land use on Kau Yi Chau artificial island. A spokesman said: "The government has all along been planning to build a third central business district on the artificial island of the SAR, instead of developing light industries."