'Govt will deliver 300,000-plus public flats' - RTHK
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'Govt will deliver 300,000-plus public flats'

2020-11-26 HKT 17:33
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  • 'Govt will deliver 300,000-plus public flats'
Development Secretary Michael Wong on Thursday dismissed concerns that the government won't be able to deliver on its promise to generate more than 310,000 public flats in the coming 10 years, after the chief executive said in her Policy Address the day before that all the land required to meet the demand for public housing had been identified.

Speaking at a press conference, Wong explained that about 35 percent of the 330 hectares Carrie Lam said the government had identified comes from various new development areas, while 40 percent comes from sites that need rezoning, and many of them had already passed the statutory planning procedures.

As for the construction of flats, the secretary said the government is not foreseeing any substantial difficulty.

"We do believe that scepticism is actually good, is healthy. Because it keeps pushing us forward... If we are aware of the urgency, if we are aware of the need of the community, I hope those stages will proceed smoothly, and I do believe that they will proceed smoothly," Wong said.

He played down fears that the government would fail to reach the target due to delays in the new development area projects, judicial reviews or local opposition.

Doubts have been raised as to whether officials would be able to generate hundreds of thousands of public units in the next decade, with the DAB's Horace Cheung questioning if the chief executive's announcement on Wednesday would indeed shorten the waiting time for public housing, which is now more than five years on average.

As for the government's controversial plan to reclaim land off Lantau, the minister said the administration will look at various ways to fund the project.

Lawmakers are expected to discuss the funding application at Legco's Finance Committee on Friday.

Wong again defended the scheme, saying it's needed because Hong Kong's total population is projected to increase, and the government needs to prepare for the future.