(Letterhead of Secretariat of Legislative Councillors & Research Centre of the Democratic Party)

24th February 1997
Miss Odelia Leung,
Chief Assistant Secretary (1)2,
LegCo Secretariat.

Dear Miss Leung,

In preparation for the meeting of the Subcommittee on Long Term Housing Strategy Review to be held on 10th March 1997, I would like to raise the following questions. Please convey them to the Housing Branch and urge for an early written reply.

Safety Margin

1. The Consultative Document says that the Government will in future regularly update its projected flat requirement, by re-running the computerized housing demand model which will respond to changes in social and economic conditions. How frequently such re-assessment would be conducted? Take the year 2001 as an example, when will the final assessment be conducted for the projected housing demand for that year? As the lead time for construction of flats takes more than ten years, it would be too late to start identifying suitable land only after the housing supply is found insufficient to meet the demand. Has the Government taken account of the changes in housing needs brought about by social and economic changes when proposing to set the safety margin at 7%?

2. As our past experience shows, delay in land supply or other problems arising from planning and infrastructure coordination have led to the delay in the provision of 15% (about 40,000 flats) of public housing units for the period between 1991/92 and 1996/97. In order to meet the increased demand (such as population growth) during the period between 1986/87 and 2000/01, the supply of flats, after repeated revision, has increased more than 16% over the original estimate made in 1987. The Long Term Housing Strategy Review Consultative Document proposes a 7% safety margin. How did the Government arrive at the figure of 7% as the safety margin, which is said to be sufficient for accommodating any contingency/ assessment errors as well as any additional housing needs caused by delay brought about by problems related to land supply, planning or infrastructure issues?

Land Supply

3. At a joint meeting of the LegCo Panels on Housing and Planning, Lands & Works held in August 1996, members requested the Administration to provide information on the progress of identifying sites for building flats for the period from then to the year 2006 as well as the present status of such sites, and to make quarterly report to the Panel. However, the Administration has not made any report since August. Has the Administration completed its first report on the issue? When will the Administration submit it to the Panel?

4. In paragraph 3.13 of the Consultative Document, the Administration is said to be examining the feasibility of rezoning certain sites. Please provide a list in tabular form of the names of the sites identified, the anticipated completion dates of construction of such flats and the anticipated number of flats to be completed.

5. In paragraph 3.14 of the Consultative Document, the Administration is said to be examining the feasibility of increasing the development density in certain areas. How many flats such areas will provide? Please provide information in tabular form on the locations and names of such areas, the number of flats involved and the dates of completion.

6. Our past experience shows that the Administration usually estimates a higher supply of flats than the actual supply in the private sector. The Administration would usually explain that "it has no control over when the developers would put the flats on the market". The Consultative Document anticipates that 34,000 flats will be provided in the private sector annually during the period between the 2001/02 and 2005/06. That would be a peak rate of supply in recent years. How could the Administration ensure that developers will provide 34,000 flats annually? If developers do not put the flats up for sale in the market as soon as they are completed, will the Administration take any measure to require the developers to sell all the units within a certain period of time after their completion?

LAM Pui-yee
for LEE Wing-tat
Chairman, LegCo Panel on Housing

Last Updated on 20 August 1998