The Hong Kong Institute of Housing Supports the Latest Policy Address to Increase Housing and Land Supply

The Hong Kong Institute of Housing
2014-01-15 16:57 1982

Yet more emphasis should be put on matching the increasing demand for property management professionals

HONG KONG, Jan. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Hong Kong Institute of Housing ("HKIH") supports the latest policies to increase housing and land supply as unveiled by the Chief Executive during the Policy Address announcement. With foreseeable increase in housing supply, demand for property management professionals will increase drastically. In view of this, HKIH highly recommends the Government to increase resources and subsidy to support training and development of the profession as well as expediting the implementation of the licensing regime in order to enhance professional property management standard as a whole. HKIH also suggests the Government to formulate more comprehensive and sustainable development plan to cater for additional resources required by communities with increase in housing stocks.

In the Policy Address, one of the sources to increase housing supply is to convert the existing public community space and green zone with low utilization rate to high density residential use. This can effectively provide adequate public and private housings as to strike a better balance between demand and supply. The Government targets to provide 470,000 residential units in the upcoming 10 years, HKIH estimates there will be an additional demand for at least 800 professional property managers and 4,000 supervisory frontline property management practitioners. This will insert huge pressure on the need for more professionals from the industry. Although currently there are approximately 300 graduates from the recognized property management programs every year, HKIH still estimates an urgent need to supply an additional 150 - 200 qualified new bloods per year to join the market workforce. HKIH urges the Government to provide more financial aids to related academic institutions so as to launch more property management courses. The Government can also consider subsidizing directly the full-time and part-time students of property management courses with an aim to nurture more professionals to cope with the future huge demand resulting from the increase in housing supply.

Nowadays, the general public shows keen concern on the quality and quantity of property management professionals, HKIH wishes to see the early implementation of the licensing regime, so that property management profession can be well-recognised and future licensed practitioners at supervisory level or above must comply with the 3 strict requirements which include academic qualifications, related local working experience and professional qualifications. With effective enactment of the licensing scheme, more professionals will be attracted to join the field and in return, it will benefit both the property owners and occupants.

The Government is working in all possible ways to ensure adequate housing supply in the future. HKIH suggests the Government to focus on comprehensive and long-term strategic planning, this includes the review of crucial social needs and infrastructures required by the new communities, including but not limited to transportation networks, population distribution, schools, medical and recreational facilities. Ageing problem of the community should also be considered as to ensure citizens can all live harmoniously in the new towns.

In addition, according to The Security and Guarding Services Ordinance, the upper age limit for people engaging in security work of Category B (non-single private residential building) is 65 years of age. In view of the severe shortage in front-line security workforce, which is essential to building's daily operation, HKIH suggests to extend the upper age limit to 70 in order to provide more labor force to the market.

Ms Cora YUEN, President of The Hong Kong Institute of Housing said, "HKIH will work closely with the Government and play a major role in the process of enhancing professionalism of the industry with the increase in housing supply. With sky-rocketing demand for quality property management professionals and related training needs in the market, we suggest the Government to work out a more comprehensive plan in coping with the future rapid increase in population and other social issues. Simultaneously, there is a need to strengthen overall trainings and funding schemes for the profession. Licensing regime is one of the major concerns of HKIH and we would sincerely wish to see the launch of it soonest possible for the benefit of both the profession and the property owners/occupants."

Source: The Hong Kong Institute of Housing