HONG KONG, Oct. 6 (Xinhua) -- Hong Kong will take multi-pronged measures to increase the supply of residential units and land to address the chronic housing shortage, according to the annual policy address delivered Wednesday by Chief Executive of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Carrie Lam.
"We have identified about 350 hectares of land to produce some 330,000 public housing units for the coming 10-year period, slightly higher than the figure announced last year, and can meet the estimated public housing demand of around 301,000 units in the coming 10-year period," Lam said at a Legislative Council meeting.
In terms of public rental housing (PRH), Lam said although the overly long waiting time for PRH allocation is worrying, public housing production in the five-year tenure of the current-term HKSAR government will in fact reach 96,500 units, an increase of 30,000 units compared to the previous five-year period.
"I have urged the Secretary for Transport and Housing to make every endeavour to compress the construction workflow of the Hong Kong Housing Authority to deliver more units as early as possible," she said.
On private housing, including railway property developments, the HKSAR government will strive to secure approximately 170 hectares of land in the coming 10 years, and make available to the market sites for the production of about 100,000 units through land sales or putting up railway property developments for tender, according to the policy address.
"We are confident that there will be a steady supply of land for private housing development," Lam said.
To ensure a sustainable land supply beyond the next 10 years, the government is actively pressing ahead with relevant studies on the reclamation works for the Kau Yi Chau Artificial Islands and the various development areas in the New Territories North.
Subject to the studies and assuming a domestic plot ratio of 4 to 6.5, the ongoing large-scale projects and projects under planning are expected to provide about 400,000 to 500,000 public and private housing units in the medium to long term, Lam said.
Together with the 165,000 to 186,000 units that can be built on the newly identified land under the Northern Metropolis Development Strategy, the supply of housing units can go up to 565,000 to 686,000 units in the period of 10 to 15 years after 2031 to 2032, said the chief executive.
The 2021 policy address, the fifth of its kind since Lam took office in 2017, focuses on bolstering Hong Kong's economy, tackling an entrenched housing shortage and prompting Hong Kong to better integrate into the national development.