Land for Housing
131. Land and housing supply has been a long standing problem in Hong Kong. The Government has been making every effort to identify land and boost housing supply. Over the past few years, through land use reviews, we have identified over 210 sites with housing development potential in the short to medium term. The sites can provide a total of more than 310 000 flats, of which about 70 per cent will be for public housing. The majority of these sites require the completion of feasibility studies and necessary procedures (including planning, consultation, rezoning, funding acquisition, land resumption, clearance, reprovisioning and site formation) before they are ready for housing construction.
132. As for the actual supply of housing units, the estimated public housing production for the next five years is about 100 000 units, of which about 75 000 are public rental housing units and about 25 000 are subsidised sale flats. On private housing flats, based on the preliminary estimation, the private sector will, on average, complete about 20 800 residential units annually in the next five years, representing an increase of about 50 per cent over the past five years.
133. Including the 15 sites rolled over from 2017-18, the 2018-19 Land Sale Programme comprises a total of 27 residential sites capable of providing about 15 200 residential units. Together with railway property development projects, the Urban Renewal Authority's projects and private development/redevelopment projects, the potential land supply for the whole year is expected to have a capacity to produce about 25 500 units. The Development Bureau will announce tomorrow the Land Sale Programme for the next financial year.
134. In the short to medium term, we will provide about 380 000 residential flats in total by rezoning sites, increasing development density as appropriate, and taking forward projects at the Kai Tak Development Area and Anderson Road Quarry, railway property development projects and urban renewal projects. As for the medium to long term, we will press ahead with a number of projects in new development areas and railway property development projects such as Siu Ho Wan, in order to provide about 220 000 residential units. Of these projects, reclamation works of the Tung Chung New Town Extension have started. The 130 hectares of land to be formed is expected to provide some 49 000 residential units from 2023-24 in phases.
135. The Government will continue to increase the supply of commercial floor area through various means. Apart from releasing approximately 560 000 square metres of commercial/office floor area through reprovisioning the existing government facilities in the two action areas in Kwun Tong and Kowloon Bay, it is expected that a number of commercial sites located at the Kai Tak Development Area, above the terminus of the Hong Kong Section of the XRL, and at the new Central Harbourfront, Caroline Hill Road, Queensway Plaza and Sai Yee Street, etc. will also be put up for sale in the next few years. These sites will provide a total floor area of about 1.1 million square metres. Among these sites, four commercial/hotel sites will be included in the 2018-19 Land Sale Programme, capable of providing about 530 000 square metres of floor area.
136. The Task Force on Land Supply will launch a public engagement exercise in the first half of this year to discuss with all sectors of the community the options and priorities for increasing land supply. Recommendations will be submitted to the Government by the end of this year.
Optimising the Use of Government Land
137. At present, vacant government sites or school premises are available for use by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) through short-term tenancies. However, since these sites may have been left idle for a long time, restoration or other works are required before they can be put to use. I will set aside $1 billion to subsidise the costs of basic works of eligible projects, and co-ordinate the efforts of government departments in providing technical advice to the user organisations to make better use of these vacant government sites and school premises.
138. We will also pursue the "single site, multiple use" model in multi-storey developments on "Government, Institution or Community" sites. One example is the proposed redevelopment of Tuen Mun Clinic. With a view to optimising land use, our initial thinking is to reprovision and consolidate the existing healthcare and other government services in the new high-rise building where elderly care facilities needed in the district will also be provided.