Budget Speech

Housing Reserve

102. The Government established the Housing Reserve in 2014 with the investment income from the fiscal reserves to support the development of public housing and related infrastructure.  The current accumulated balance of the Housing Reserve, which is kept separately from the fiscal reserves, is $82.4 billion.  On the other hand, the balance of the Hong Kong Housing Authority in the coming few years is expected to exceed $40 billion.  There will be no need to draw on the Housing Reserve in the foreseeable future.  I also appreciate views in the community that keeping the Housing Reserve outside of the fiscal reserve may not fully reflect the Government's financial position.  Hence, I will bring back the Housing Reserve to the fiscal reserves.  At the same time, I will earmark the same amount in the fiscal reserves for public housing development to demonstrate the Government's firm commitment.  To avoid distorting the Government's financial position in a particular year, the money to be brought back will be spread over the current term of Government until 2022-23, that is, over four financial years.



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