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Monday, September 12, 2016, 22:52

Measures aim to encourage interest in housing project

By Dara Wang

HONG KONG - Monthly management fees, service fees and government rates at Tanner Hill - the first non-subsidized housing project for elderly people over 60 in the city - will be waived to all tenants from Oct 1. This is part of a new preferential rental plan to attract more tenants – following a lukewarm response from elderly people.

Monthly rental fees for a two-year short lease will be reduced from HK$42 to HK$35 per sq ft - for total rents for studio, single bedroom, double bedroom and combined units ranging from HK$11,800 to HK$51,800.

Long-lease tenants will enjoy 20 percent off for the use of recreation facilities. This includes day care and cognitive training centers, rehabilitation centers and residential care homes for the elderly.

The entry contribution for long-term lease remains the same - ranging from HK$1.56 million to HK$9.31 million.

Short-term lease tenants who would like to convert to long-term lease plans could pre-pay 50 percent of total rent as the entry contribution for long-term lease.

Since the launch in December last year, only 75 of 588 flats of Tanner Hill - a three-block estate in North Point - have been rented out and 45 of them are for long leases.

Chief Executive Officer of Hong Kong Housing Society Wong Kit-loong attributed the lackluster response to high rents.

Wong believes the fee-waiving package will ease the long-term burden on tenants. This is because they won't need to worry about future fee increases. He also said the lack of need for care services among elderly people contributed to their low interest in the housing project.

The new plan will receive applications from today (Tuesday). The priority of applicants arriving between 9 am to 10 am will be generated by a computer ballot system. Those coming after this period can apply for a lease on a first-come first-serve basis.

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