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RICS Proposes Ways to Meet the 10-year 470,000 Homes Target

 

HONG KONG, Sept. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In response to the Long Term Housing Strategy Consultation Document announced by the Long Term Housing Strategy Steering Committee this week, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) finds the document outlined a major leap towards long-term house planning. The Institution welcomes the Government's vision of providing adequate and affordable houses for Hong Kong people as well as her commitment in taking a proactive role to restore balance between housing demand and supply but the document gave little details on implementation. To address to this front, RICS proposes the following ways to the meet the 10-year target: development of North East New Territories, feasible reclamation plan outside Victoria Harbour, speeding up land-use approval process, establishment of land database, introduction of arbitration to land premium negotiation, and speeding up allocation of public houses.

With reference to the current land supply schedule, RICS finds the target of supplying 470,000 public and private units in 10 years unachievable. To ensure adequate supply of residential land for long term development, RICS urges the Government to put forward the Institution's recommendation submission on developing northeast New Territories made in November 2012 and another submission on overall feasible reclamation plan outside of Victoria Harbour made in June 2013. In addition, RICS also suggests establishing a land database for accurate estimation of immediate and long-term land supply.

To speed up housing supply, RICS advises the Government to improve efficiency in pre-construction approval procedures such as alteration of land use, redevelopment, application of land premium, etc., which involve coordination among various departments and bureaux at the coordination of the Development Bureau. To speed up the release of possible usable land, RICS suggests introducing arbitration as the last resort to end land premium dispute between developers and the Lands Department.

Both effective use of existing resources and increased supply of housing units speed up allocation of public rented houses. RICS urges the Housing Department to take more stringent measures to minimise mis-use of public houses and request return of public houses by tenants who own private properties, so as to cope with increasing public housing demand without affecting overall one.

Source: Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors