Concern group petitions HK government to build traditional public housing for low-income households

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26th March 2023 – (Hong Kong) Hong Kong’s government has been criticised for its lack of focus on building traditional public housing for low-income households, known as “N-nothing” residents. While the government has made efforts to provide transitional and minimalist public housing on short-term vacant land and buildings, it seems to have neglected the needs of the most vulnerable in society.

In response to this, the Sham Shui Po N-nothing Residents Housing Concern Group staged a petition on 26th March, demanding that the government concentrate on building traditional public housing units to speed up the progress of moving residents into proper homes. Starting from the “Nam Cheong 220” transitional housing project, the group marched through the waiting-to-be-redeveloped Tai Hang Sai Estate and ended at the construction site of the Pak Tin Estate.

During the demonstration, more than 10 members of the group chanted slogans such as “Building Public Housing Is More Practical Than Light Public Housing” and “High Cost of Light Public Housing.” Mr. Lee, a member of the group, explained that transitional and Light Public Housing can only temporarily improve the living environment of residents in cramped quarters. The current cost of such units is also too high, and residents can only live in them for two years. Mr. Lee believes that the government should focus on building traditional public housing, which is the long-term solution to the problem.

The government’s short-term public housing projects have faced criticism due to various reasons. One of the main criticisms is that the units are too small and lack proper amenities, making them unsuitable for families or those with special needs. Additionally, the government has faced accusations of using these projects as a stopgap measure to ease public criticism, rather than genuinely addressing the housing crisis.