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Tuesday, August 29, 2017, 17:56
Task force to tackle HK's acute land supply shortage
By Willa Wu in Hong Kong
Tuesday, August 29, 2017, 17:56 By Willa Wu in Hong Kong

In this Aug 21, 2017 photo, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam meets the media at the Office of the Chief Executive in the city. (PARKER ZHENG / CHINA DAILY)

HONG KONG – Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor on Tuesday appointed 22 non-official members and eight official members to a task force charged with helping the government set priorities and strategies to address the city’s cramped land supply.

The task force, serving an 18-month term starting from Sept 1, will review the city’s land supply sources, optimize the government’s short, medium and long-term land policies and present pros and cons for each land supply option for large-scale public consultation, Lam said before the weekly Executive Council meeting.

Ultimately, the task force would put forward a comprehensive land strategy, advising the government on using land resources in future, Lam added. 

In addition to addressing land supply issues, Lam said the government had organized internal studies on housing policies. Results are expected to be shown in the upcoming Policy Address in October.

The land supply task force, first proposed in Lam’s election manifesto, comes at a time when the government faces increasingly severe housing problems. 

At the end of June, the Housing Authority announced that about 277,800 applicants were waiting for public housing. The general waiting time had reached 4.7 years – returning to the record high reached in December last year.

Stanley Wong Yuen-fai, chairman of the Housing Authority’s Subsidized Housing Committee, will chair the task force. While Greg Wong Chak-yan, former president of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers, will be vice-chairman. 

Stanley Wong noted that the task force would launch public consultations, seeking opinions on land supply from professionals as well as the public, with the first one scheduled between the first and second quarter next year.

The chairman was confident the task force could achieve the goals Lam set within the group’s term.

Greg Wong said the task force would soon collect public views on building public housing, developing brownfield areas and reclamation. But he said priorities on study subjects had not been decided. 

Meanwhile, the vice-chairman called for sufficient government assistance as the task force faced a tight deadline. 

The task force will have its first meeting on Sept 6. 

The 22 non-official members are veterans in various fields covering land survey, engineering, economics, social housing and politics. Former Legislative Council president Jasper Tsang Yok-sing, Heung Yee Kuk Vice-Chairman Cheung Hok-ming and the founder and chief executive of social enterprise Light Be, Ricky Yu Wai-yip, are among the members.

Official members of the task force include the development secretary, the environment secretary and the secretary for transport and housing. 

Full list and fields of expertise of the 22 non-official members: 

Task Force Chairman: Stanley Wong Yuen-fai, chairman of the Subsidized Housing Committee of the Hong Kong Housing Authority

Vice-chairman: Greg Wong Chak-yan, former president of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers

Chau Kwong-wing, chair professor of Real Estate and Construction at the University of Hong Kong

Iris Hoi, director at planning consultant firm Urbis

Lam Kin-che, adjunct professor at the Geography and Resource Management Department of the Chinese University of Hong Kong

Lau Chun-kong, chairman of the land policy panel at the Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors

Jimmy Leung Cheuk-fai, former Planning Department director

Eunice Mak Hoi-cheung, former president of Hong Kong Institute of Planners 

Ng Cho-nam, associate professor of geography at the University of Hong Kong 

Vincent Ng Wing-shun, former president of the Hong Kong Institute of Architects 

Derrick Pang Yat-bond, chief executive of Chun Wo Development 

Wai Chi-sing, managing director of the Urban Renewal Authority


Public policy:

Stephen Wong Yuen-shan, head of Public Policy Institute of Our Hong Kong Foundation 

Anthony Wu Ting-yuk, co-founder of Bauhinia Foundation Research Centre



Francis Lui Ting-ming, economics professor at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology’s business school



Jasper Tsang Yok-sing, former Legislative Council president 

Cheung Hok-ming, vice-chairman of Heung Yee Kuk


Social housing representatives:  

Wong Kit-loong, chief executive and executive director of the Hong Kong Housing Society 

Wong Kwun, former chairman of the Federation of Public Housing Estates 

Ricky Yu Wai-yip, chief executive of social enterprise Light Be 

Ho Hei-wah, director of the Society for Community Organization


Media representative:

Simon Fung Shing-cheung, former executive chief editor at Ming Pao

Eight official members:

Secretary for Development or representative

Secretary for the Environment or representative

Secretary for Transport and Housing or representative

Permanent Secretary for Development (Planning and Lands) or representative

Permanent Secretary for Development (Works) or representative

Director of Civil Engineering and Development or representative

Director of Lands or representative

Director of Planning or representative


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