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Hong Kong Land for Hong Kong People$
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Yue Chim Richard Wong

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9789888208654

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888208654.001.0001

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Small Housing Units and High Property Prices

Small Housing Units and High Property Prices

Chapter:
(p.57) 8 Small Housing Units and High Property Prices
Source:
Hong Kong Land for Hong Kong People
Author(s):

Yue Chim Richard Wong

Publisher:
Hong Kong University Press
DOI:10.5790/hongkong/9789888208654.003.0008

The historical evolution of our public housing program, initially as non-means tested resettlement units and subsequently as means-tested housing for the poor, guaranteed that those in public housing would be very heterogeneous in their economic situation. This created a gross mismatch of public housing units with the aspirations of the incumbent occupants. The mismatch has become worse over time as economic conditions have improved for some households but not others. This situation has generated an additional demand in private housing for larger units. But since the reference has been the cramped conditions of the old tenements and resettlement units, developers of private housing have not been very generous in their provision of space. The effects of rent control and the scale of the resettlement program have therefore had long and permanent consequences for the development of housing in Hong Kong. Small housing units have become the standard, and it is no longer possible to depart from this path-dependent development. Even worse, many units in the public housing program remain mismatched to their occupants and are underutilized or even vacant, because households that leave the public housing estate do not always surrender their units.

Keywords:   Hong Kong, Housing, Housing policy, Public Housing, Politics, Social mobility, Population, Economics, Growth

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