The Housing Authority on Wednesday said it will tighten declaration rules for public housing tenants, including requiring them to declare whether or not they own property every two years.
It made the announcement about the new requirement – which takes effect from October – after a subsidised housing committee meeting.
Tenants will have to make the declaration every two years, instead of the current ten-year requirement. They will also have to notify the authority within a month of signing a contract to purchase a property.
The grace period for those deemed no longer eligible for a public flat will also be shortened to four months from a year.
"Our aim is to combat the abuse of public housing resources, so they can be used on citizens with the most urgent needs... On the number of flats that will be spared, it's not a part of our aim," chairman of the committee Cleresa Wong said.
Public flat applicants who make false statements or breach the tenancy agreement will also be prohibited to apply for five years, an increase from the current two years.
Lawmaker Scott Leung, who is also a member of the committee, said he expects the change will affect 300,000 tenants.
He urged the authority to work with other departments to step up inspections to tackle public housing abuse.
The authority launched a review after reports revealed that a suspect in the murder of socialite Abby Choi bought a government-subsidised flat despite already owning a luxury property.