LCQ21: Housing supply

Following is a question by the Hon Kwok Wai-keung and a written reply by the Secretary for Development, Mr Michael Wong, in the Legislative Council today (April 21):

Regarding housing supply, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) of the number of public rental housing (PRH) units completed in each of the past five years and, among them, the number of those which were subsequently converted into subsidised sale housing units, with a breakdown of the relevant numbers and percentages by the type of such units (i.e. Type A (about 14 square metres), Type B (about 21 sq m), Type C (about 31 sq m) and Type D (about 35 sq m));

(2) of the respective numbers of housing units expected to be completed in the following sites in 2025-2026 financial year and each of the subsequent four years: (i) the sites provided under the Tung Chung New Town Extension project, (ii) the agricultural land and brownfield sites in Kwu Tung North/Fanling North New Development Area, (iii) the agricultural land and brownfield sites in Hung Shui Kiu/Ha Tsuen New Development Area, (iv) the relevant site of the Fanling Golf Course, (v) the sites of three urban squatter areas located at Cha Kwo Ling, Ngau Chi Wan and Chuk Yuen United Village respectively, (vi) the sites of three factory estates of the Hong Kong Housing Authority, and (vii) the eight brownfield clusters with housing development potential (set out in Table 1);

Table 1

(3) among the some 20 000 housing units that may be provided by the topside development of the MTR Siu Ho Wan Depot site, of the respective (i) numbers and (ii) percentages of those which will be (a) private housing units, (b) subsidised sale housing units (excluding those under the Green Form Subsidised Home Ownership Scheme (GSH)), (c) GSH units and (d) PRH units, with a breakdown by the anticipated year of completion (set out in Table 2); and

Table 2

(4) as the Government indicated last month that it was close to completing the work on reviewing those private lands which had been zoned for high-density housing development but without concrete development plans, when the review results are expected to be announced?

The Government has been striving to boost land and housing supply through a multi-pronged strategy. My reply to various parts of the question is as follows:

(1) Based on the information provided by the Transport and Housing Bureau, at present, new public rental housing (PRH)/Green Form Subsidised Home Ownership Scheme (GSH) projects of the Hong Kong Housing Authority (HA) mainly provide four types of units, namely Type A units (for one to two persons), Type B units (for two to three persons), Type C units (for three to four persons) and Type D units (for four to five persons) to meet the needs of different household sizes.
The number and percentage of PRH units newly completed by HA from 2015-16 to 2019-20 by flat type are set out in the following table:

Table 1: Number of HA's newly-completed PRH units by flat type (2015-16 to 2019-20)

*Including 12 Type E units (for 5 persons or above)

When HA regularised GSH in January 2018, HA also established the principle of selecting suitable PRH projects for conversion to GSH projects. From 2015-16 to 2019-20, HA has completed two GSH projects. Details are set out as follows:

Table 2: Number of units in completed GSH projects (2015-16 to 2019-20)

Remarks: The above GSH units are not counted in the newly-completed PRH units in Table 1.

(2) The Government has been actively taking forward various initiatives to increase land supply. As far as the Tung Chung New Town Extension is concerned, the Tung Chung East reclamation works commenced in end 2017 and has been progressing well. The first parcel of reclaimed land was handed over to HA for housing development in March 2020, and the first batch of 10 000 housing units are expected to be completed in 2024. The whole extension project will be completed in 2030 and is expected to provide about 62 100 housing units (including 44 700 public and 17 400 private housing units).

For the New Development Areas (NDAs), Kwu Tung North/Fanling North NDA will provide a total of about 71 800 housing units (including 48 500 public and 23 300 private housing units), and the first batch of about 800 private units are expected to be completed in 2023 (the actual number of housing units and the completion time frame are subject to the respective private developer). The whole NDA project is anticipated to be completed in phases by 2031-32. The Hung Shui Kiu/Ha Tsuen NDA will provide about 61 000 housing units (including 31 200 public and 29 800 private housing units for now), with the first batch of Dedicated Rehousing Estate providing about 700 units to be completed in 2024. The whole NDA project is anticipated to be completed in phases by 2038.
Regarding the partial development of Fanling Golf Course Site, subject to study findings, it is estimated that about 9 000 public housing units can be provided in 2029.
Besides, the engineering feasibility studies (EFSs) on redeveloping three urban squatter areas at Cha Kwo Ling, Ngau Chi Wan and Chuk Yuen United Village into high-density public housing are expected to be completed within 2021, followed by rezoning, site formation, etc. Subject to study findings, these three projects are expected to provide a total of 6 300 public housing units.
As regards HA's factory estates, as mentioned in the Chief Executive's 2020 Policy Address, part of the six factory estates under HA can be redeveloped as public housing. It is estimated that a total of over 3 000 public housing units will be provided in 2031.
For brownfield, the Planning Department completed in 2019 the first phase review on 160 hectares (ha) of brownfield sites closer to the existing infrastructures, and shortlisted and promulgated eight brownfield clusters located in Yuen Long, Tuen Mun and Tai Po for higher density public housing development in the short to medium term. The Civil Engineering and Development Department has progressively commenced EFSs for these brownfield clusters from June 2020 onwards. Subject to the outcome of the EFSs, it is roughly estimated that these eight brownfield clusters may produce over 20 000 public housing units. At this stage, we expect to complete the EFSs, rezoning, detailed design, land resumption, clearance, land decontamination and site formation works, and hand over the sites to the relevant authority for construction of public housing in about six years or less, with a view to progressively completing the production of the first batch of housing units within ten years approximately from the commencement of EFS (i.e. starting from 2030-31).
For projects with completion dates scheduled for 2025-26 and beyond, they are mostly at "land production" stage and the availability of sites are subject to various factors such as rezoning, infrastructure construction and site formation works, etc. Moreover, in many cases, the sites are still subject to feasibility studies or investigation. Some of these sites also involve land resumption, clearance, or reprovisioning of affected facilities. For projects involving Government-funded works, funding approval from the Legislative Council is also required. As these projects are subject to changes, it is difficult to provide detailed information and timetable at this stage. Relevant information will be provided in a timely manner according to the rolling production programme.
As for private housing, the Government will, in accordance with the existing mechanism, announce private housing supply of the next financial year in the Annual Land Sale Programme. As the relevant mechanism and Land Sale Programme involve market-sensitive information, we generally do not conduct forecasts on the Programme of other years.

(3) The Siu Ho Wan Depot Site is expected to provide about 20 000 housing units in the medium to long term, of which around 50% will be public housing (the current plan is mainly subsidised sale flats), forming a new community with public and private housing, various community facilities, and also a new railway station.
The Government has drawn up the Outline Zoning Plan for the Site. The MTR Corporation Limited and government departments are pressing ahead with this development, including taking forward the detailed design of the project, layout plan preparation, and gazettal procedures for the works. In view of the scale of the development, and the need for in-situ reconfiguration of existing railway facilities for topside development while ensuring that railway operations are not affected, the development will be completed by phase. The target is to have the first batch of about 6 000 public and private housing gradually ready for intake in around 2030. The layout plan for the development is expected to be submitted to the Town Planning Board within this year to provide further details on the project.

(4) The Development Bureau (DEVB) has identified ten private land parcels for the relevant review in order to assess their suitability for public housing development. The relevant review is close to completion and DEVB will announce the review results shortly. For land parcels assessed to be suitable for public housing development, the Government will resume the private land involved by invoking the Lands Resumption Ordinance (Cap.124) in accordance with the existing mechanism.

Ends/Wednesday, April 21, 2021
Issued at HKT 14:56