Hong Kong 2006
Chapter 11:
Housing Policy
Institutional Framework
Public Rental Housing
Home Ownership
Housing for Groups
in Special Need
Housing Supply
Private Sector Housing
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Housing for Groups in Special Need

The Elderly

An elderly person who prefers to live alone can apply for a public rental flat under the Single Elderly Persons Priority Scheme. In 2006, the Government achieved its target of reducing the waiting time to two years or less for single elderly applicants. Two or more elderly persons who are willing to live together may apply under the Elderly Persons Priority Scheme. Applicants under the scheme who opt for flats in the New Territories will normally be allocated flats within two years.

There are two priority schemes for public rental housing which encourage families to live with and take care of their elderly relatives. Applicants with elderly parents or dependent relatives aged 60 or above will have their flat allocation advanced by up to three years under the Families with Elderly Persons Priority Scheme. Those who apply for two separate flats in the same estate in the new towns under the Special Scheme for Families with Elderly Persons will have their flat allocation advanced by up to two years.

Under a pilot scheme called the Senior Citizen Residences Scheme, the HKHS launched two projects in Tseung Kwan O and Jordan Valley in August 2003 and September 2004 respectively, providing purpose-built housing with integrated health care facilities for senior citizens in the middle-income group. The units in these projects are leased to eligible senior citizens on a 'lease-for-life' basis in line with the concepts of 'healthy ageing' and 'ageing in place'.


The number of squatters and squatter structures has been reduced in recent years through rehousing and clearance programmes. The criteria for rehousing squatters upon clearance have been relaxed. Since December 2002, families who have resided in registered squatter structures for two years and whose income and assets do not exceed the prescribed limits can be rehoused in public rental flats upon clearance. Squatters who wish to move out voluntarily can apply for public housing through the General Waiting List. For the remaining squatters, the Government provides and maintains basic facilities in the existing squatter area under the Squatter Area Improvement Programme to ensure that basic safety and hygiene standards are met.

Rooftop Structures

The Buildings Department drew up a seven-year clearance programme in April 2001 to clear 12 000 illegal rooftop structures in 4 500 single-staircase buildings. Rooftop dwellers are encouraged to apply for public rental housing. Those who are evicted under the law are rehoused in public rental housing or are given interim housing, depending on their eligibility criteria. In 2006, about 1 000 people affected by rooftop clearances were relocated.

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