Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Development, Mr Paul Chan, at the question-and-answer session of the media session today (December 19) on quarterly land sale programme for January to March 2015:
Reporter: Secretary, do you think that this year's target of private residential land supply will be met?
Secretary for Development: We are pretty confident that the private housing land supply target this year will be exceeded. Taking into consideration the supply from government land sale, MTRC projects, urban renewal projects, as well as private redevelopment, the total estimated supply for this financial year is about 20 700, which is about 10 per cent over the average annual target.
Reporter: Where is the Government looking at in terms of new land for housing?
Secretary for Development: Basically to address the housing shortage problem, the most fundamental way is to increase supply. To increase housing supply, we need to increase land supply. This is not an easy task, and also this is quite a long-drawn process in some of the cases. In terms of long term supply, we are taking forward New Development Areas and new town extensions such as the NENT NDAs (North East New Territories New Development Areas) and Tung Chung new town extension. We are also trying to apply funding from the Legislative Council to enable us to proceed with feasibility studies with regard to reclamation and other initiatives. But in terms of short term initiatives, there is really no magic. There are a number of measures that we are undertaking. The first one is to increase development density. The second is to conduct land use reviews so that some of the lands which, say for example, originally earmarked for GIC (Government, Institution or Community) purposes, and are no longer required, can be redeployed through town planning process for housing development. We are also embarking on rezoning some of green belt sites for residential development. We are trying very hard on various fronts. But we need the support from the community of course.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Friday, December 19, 2014
Issued at HKT 21:55