RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Housing Authority loosens policy for well-off public housing tenants

Those who earn a lot will have to vacate their flats.

The Housing Authority has loosened the policy for well-off public housing tenants, excluding pension and insurance payouts from asset calculation. In December the authority’s Subsidised Housing Committee revised the policy for well-off public housing tenants.

Under the revisions, those who earn more than five times the public rental housing income limit, or have assets exceeding 100 times the limit, or who own local property, have to vacate their flats.

The committee endorsed the revisions yesterday. It also loosened the policy by introducing exemption arrangements.

The retirement benefits received under Mandatory Provident Fund schemes, occupational retirement schemes and civil service pension schemes will be exempted from asset limit calculation.

Insurance payouts and compensations received due to family member casualties, and critical illness insurance claims will also be exempted from the calculation.

Households whose members are all aged 60 or above, or are all recipients of Comprehensive Social Security Assistance or disability allowance, will not be affected by the policy.

For households with both disabled and able-bodied members, they can retain their flats even if their household income or assets exceed the limit. But they have to pay additional rent based on their income level. For such households, those with local private property will still be required to vacate their flats in spite of the presence of disability allowance recipients.

To shorten the waiting time for public housing applicants who are living in poor private rental accommodation like sub-divided flats, the committee introduced a one-year moratorium on the application of family applicants who are living in public rental housing.

From April 1, if all household members in a family application are living in public housing, their application will be frozen for one year.

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