28th November 2023 – (Hong Kong) A resident of Public Rental Housing (PRH) in Hong Kong was sentenced to two weeks in prison today, November 28, after making a false declaration stating he did not own any land. The PRH flat involved has since been reclaimed by the Housing Department (HD). This sentencing serves as a stern reminder of the legal obligation for residents of PRH estates to accurately declare their income and assets.
The resident in question, who was living at the Ching Ho Estate in Sheung Shui, stated in a 2023 Income and Assets Declaration Form that he did not own any land. However, a subsequent investigation unveiled that the resident was the sole owner of a plot of land in Hang Hau, Sai Kung, New Territories, at the time of the declaration.
His failure to disclose this information in the declaration form led to his prosecution under Section 27(a) of the Housing Ordinance. Following his prior conviction in the Fanling Magistrates’ Courts, the seriousness of his offence led to his sentencing of two weeks’ imprisonment. HD has since reclaimed the PRH unit.
A spokesperson for HD emphasised the importance of truthful and accurate completion of the Income and Assets Declaration Forms for PRH households. These forms underpin the assessment of rent and eligibility for ongoing residence in PRH properties. Households must meticulously read the content and completion guidelines of the forms, computing their income and assets as specified.
Failing to adhere to these guidelines may result in prosecution for knowingly making a false statement, under Section 26(1)(a) of the Housing Ordinance, which carries a maximum penalty of a $50,000 fine and imprisonment for six months. Alternatively, they may face prosecution for neglecting to furnish information as required in a declaration form, under Section 27(a) of the Housing Ordinance, risking a maximum penalty of a $25,000 fine and imprisonment for three months.