Hotels to become youth hostels with govt help: Mak - RTHK
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Hotels to become youth hostels with govt help: Mak

2022-10-26 HKT 11:35
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  • Hotels to become youth hostels with govt help: Mak
Secretary for Home and Youth Affairs Alice Mak on Wednesday said the government would subsidise NGOs to convert hotels into youth hostels to speed up the process of providing affordable homes for young people.

Chief Executive John Lee pledged in his Policy Address last week to provide about 3,000 more hostel spaces for young people within five years, and Mak said converting hotel rooms would be faster than supporting NGOs to build hostels from scratch, as had happened previously.

The minister said the authorities had received positive feedback from the hotel industry, but still needed to discuss the details.

"People from the hotel industry and the NGOs say it's better to have youth hostels at different spots in urban areas as it's more convenient for young people to commute, but there may be some operational problems. We have to discuss further with the industry," she said.

Under the youth hostel scheme, young people pay about 60 percent of the market rate to rent a room. But Lee said in his policy speech that tenants would also have to commit to providing volunteer services to the community.

Meanwhile, Mak said Tsuen Wan and Southern districts would be the first areas to get service-and-care teams as a part of the government's goal to have a network of volunteers in each district to help with community work and offer assistance to the underprivileged.

"These two districts include characteristics of the Hong Kong community. There are village houses, squatters, three-nil buildings [buildings without owners' corporations, residents' organisations or management companies], subdivided flats, old public housing, large housing estates and low-density residential buildings," Mak said.

"Through setting up care teams in these two districts, we can gain the experience and set them up in the other districts."

She added that she hoped to finish setting up teams in all Hong Kong's 18 districts before the end of next year.

Hotels to become youth hostels with govt help: Mak