Hong Kong Housing Authority

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Hong Kong Housing Authority
香港房屋委員會
Logo of Hong Kong Housing Authority.svg
Agency overview
Formed 1973
Headquarters 33 Fat Kwong Street, Ho Man Tin
Agency executive
Website www.housingauthority.gov.hk

The Hong Kong Housing Authority (HA; Chinese: 香港房屋委員會) is the main provider of public housing in Hong Kong. It was established in 1973 under the Housing Ordinance and is an agency of the Government of Hong Kong. In the same year, the Resettlement Department and the Building Section of the Urban Services Department were merged to form the Housing Department, which acts as the Housing Authority's executive body.[1]

History[edit]

The modern Housing Authority was founded in 1973.

In 2005, most Housing Authority-owned shopping centres and car parks were controversially divested to The Link REIT.

A citywide scandal erupted in 2015 after heavy metals were found in the water supply of some housing estates, schools, and private residential buildings. The contamination was first identified at Kai Ching Estate, opened in 2013. A task force found that the contamination was caused by solder joints with a high lead content.

Responsibilities[edit]

Outside of public housing provision, the authority is also responsible for the management of public rental housing estates, interim housing estates, transit centres, demolished factories and ancillary commercial and non-domestic facilities such as shopping centres, market stalls and car parks. It also acts as the agent for the government when it comes to clearing land, and according to its own policy "preventing squatting and implementing improvements in squatter areas."[2]

Though most commercial assets of the Housing Authority were divested to the Link REIT in 2005, the Housing Authority still manages some shopping centres as well as 21 markets.[3] There have been calls for the government to buy back the properties sold to the Link as rent increases have placed a financial burden on public housing residents.[3]

Composition[edit]

At the time of its creation, membership of the authority was made up as follows:[4]

  • Secretary of Housing (Chairman)
  • Eight Urban Councillors
  • Five unofficial members
  • Six official members

Currently, members are appointed by the Chief Executive of Hong Kong. They are: the Chairman, Vice-chairman, two official members and 26 non-official members.[when?][2]

Roles[edit]

The Authority operates the Tenants Purchase Scheme, the Home Ownership Scheme and the Private Sector Participation Scheme. They were also formerly responsible for a loan scheme targeted at low income home buyers, which provided interest-free loans of up to HK$530,000 or monthly mortgage subsidies of up to HK$3,800 to help low-income individuals or families buy their own flats.

More than 8,000 low-income families are subsidised, although the scheme was halted in 2003 pending a review. In June 2004, the definitive abolition of the scheme was announced.[5]

Key people[edit]

Since 1 July 2007, following a reorganisation of government agencies, the role of Chairman of the Housing Authority is held by the Secretary for Transport and Housing (a position created in 2007). This role was previously held by the Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands.[6] The Director of Housing is Vice-chairman of the HA.[2] Chairpersons of the Hong Kong Housing Authority have included:

Location[edit]

The Hong Kong Housing Authority Headquarters are located at 33 Fat Kwong Street, Ho Man Tin, Kowloon. The Hong Kong Housing Authority Exhibition Centre is located nearby at 3/F, Homantin Plaza, 80 Fat Kwong Street.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Smart, Alan (2006). The Shek Kip Mei Myth: Squatters, Fires and Colonial Rule in Hong Kong, 1950-1963. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. ISBN 9789622097926. 
  • Yeung, Y. M.; Wong, Timothy K. Y., eds. (2003). Fifty Years of Public Housing in Hong Kong: A Golden Jubilee Review and Appraisal. Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press. 

External links[edit]