Sub-divided flats should be banished in a decade: DAB

The DAB said on Sunday that the government needs to work harder to move people living in shoddy homes into public housing, saying officials should aim to rid Hong Kong of sub-divided units in a decade or so.

The party has formed a task force on ways to “say goodbye” to sub-divided flats, days after Beijing’s liaison office published pictures of its chief, Luo Huining, visiting cage home residents in Mong Kok.

The DAB said officials need to drastically increase public housing supply so that in the next decade or so, the wait for such flats can be brought down to the government’s three-year target, from almost six years at present.

“We propose to release more land from the northern New Territories by increasing appropriate plot ratios to a certain level, then the government can achieve 30,000 public housing [units] per year,” party chairwoman Starry Lee said, referring to an expansion of a proposed new town development near the border.

Lee conceded it would take around four years for officials to increase the annual public housing output, which is around 21,000 flats a year at present.

In the meantime, she said, there’s a need to at least double the amount of transitional housing to 30,000, to provide accommodation for those living in poor conditions.

Lee said developers and non-governmental organisations need to help the government provide such temporary housing.

The DAB also said the authorities should resume more land from the private sector and build on green belt land to tackle the housing shortage.