Increasing land and housing supply is a top priority for the current-term Government to better respond to public aspiration for a better living environment and meet the development needs of Hong Kong. On my first day upon taking office as the Secretary for Development (SDEV), I held a meeting with the heads of the departments under the Development Bureau (DEVB) to share my mission and vision. I hope to briefly introduce our future work directions through my first post in “My Blog”.
Striving to fulfill President Xi’s “four expectations”
During the internal meeting with the department heads, I made reference to President Xi Jinping’s “four expectations” for the newly inaugurated Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, i.e. further improving its governance, continuing to create strong impetus for growth, earnestly addressing people’s concerns and difficulties in livelihood, and working together to safeguard harmony and stability. I hope that all the department heads can have a full and accurate understanding of President Xi’s expectations and fulfill his requests, and practically address the social and livelihood issues of public concerns through dedication in fulfilling their duties in adherence to the “people-based” principle. I also encourage the department heads to lead their teams to learn the important speech delivered by President Xi on 1 July 2022.
Making greater efforts to open up new sources of land
Pursuing land and housing supply initiatives is one of the priorities of the current-term Government. For the past few years, the DEVB has adopted multi-pronged policies and measures to boost land supply. Henceforward, we have to make greater efforts to implement the established policies and plans, tap more land sources and push ahead with the renewal of old districts. Our objectives are to improve people’s quality of life and create conditions for the long-term development of Hong Kong.
Enhancing speed, quantity, quality and efficiency
To achieve the above objectives, I hope to lead my team to enhance the land development work in terms of speed, quantity, quality and efficiency. “Enhancing speed” is, as the term suggests, “streamlining the procedures”. We have to not only introduce relevant amendment bills to streamline and enhance development-related procedures, but also streamline the administrative procedures for the departments concerned in order to speed up land creation.
Identifying land through a multi-pronged approach
On “enhancing quantity”, apart from the recommendations on sources of land supply as set out in the “Hong Kong 2030+: Towards a Planning Vision and Strategy Transcending 2030”, we will continue to adopt a multi-pronged approach to identify more suitable sites for development so as to meet the housing demand of the public and the needs for economic and social development.
Urban renewal Renovation of buildings
“Enhancing quality” mainly involves urban renewal and renovation of buildings. We must explore effective ways to address the problem of ageing buildings. While offering full support to the work of the Urban Renewal Authority, we have to create favourable conditions for private redevelopment of old buildings. We also have to ensure timely and proper maintenance of buildings. In addition, we will continue to enhance the harbourfront areas on both sides of the Victoria Harbour so as to provide quality open space for the general public to enjoy the unique and spectacular view of the harbour.
Regarding “enhancing efficiency”, I hope all the relevant departments will identify land sites and build houses by adopting innovative methods such as the Modular Integrated Construction method and the digitalised management platform through inter–departmental collaboration.
As instructed by the Chief Executive, the DEVB and the departments under its purview will set “key performance indicators” for specific projects under their policy areas, and effectively monitor the progress of the projects, with a view to promoting the effective implementation of policies.
Inter-departmental groups to co-ordinate work relating to land and housing supply
The Government announced earlier the establishment of the Steering Committee on Land and Housing Supply and the Task Force on Public Housing Projects to co-ordinate the work relating to land and housing. These two inter-departmental groups, chaired respectively by the Financial Secretary, Mr Paul Chan, and the Deputy Financial Secretary, Mr Michael Wong, will comprehensively steer and monitor the various segments involved in land creation to housing construction. Serving as one of the members of these two groups in the capacity of the SDEV, I will definitively make all-out efforts in the work together with my team.
Separately, the current-term Government will continue to press ahead with various development projects relating to the Lantau Tomorrow Vision and the Northern Metropolis Development Strategy to meet the future sustainable development needs of Hong Kong. I will lead my colleagues in the DEVB to make concerted efforts in building a better Hong Kong with our utmost endeavours, thereby “blazing a new trail for Hong Kong to scale new heights” in the coming five years.
10 July, 2022Back