114. The Government is committed to resolving the land and housing problems. We accepted the report of the Task Force on Land Supply early last year and are now taking forward its recommendations in full steam.
115. In the medium to long term, various new development area projects will bring about over 210 000 housing units. In particular, the first parcel of housing land under the Tung Chung East reclamation works is ready for handover next month, and is expected to provide 10 000 public housing units in the first quarter of 2024. The land resumption exercise for Kwu Tung North/Fanling North new development areas commenced last year, with a view to enabling the first population intake of the public housing development in 2027. Besides, upon funding approval by the LegCo, we will commence in the second half of the year the first phase of the works for Hung Shui Kiu/Ha Tsuen new development area. As for the Yuen Long South development, the statutory planning process will commence soon, and we will strive to have the first batch of public housing units in place in 2028.
116. As for rezoning sites for housing development, we have rezoned 135 sites for providing over 147 000 public housing units and approximately 44 000 private housing units over the past six years. Rezoning for another 12 sites are in progress to provide some 11 000 housing units, over 90 per cent of which will be public housing. We will gradually commence the rezoning procedures for another 25 sites in the coming year involving nearly 85 000 units, over 90 per cent of which will be public housing.
117. The Planning Department will commence technical studies on the first batch of shortlisted brownfield clusters suitable for public housing development as soon as possible. It is estimated to provide over 20 000 public housing units, with the details to be announced by the Development Bureau (DEVB) in due course. In addition, the DEVB is co-ordinating technical studies for the three urban squatter areas in Cha Kwo Ling, Ngau Chi Wan and Chuk Yuen for 6 300 public housing units. It will also examine the suitability of some 10 sites, which have been zoned for high-density housing development but without any development plans due to various reasons, for public housing development.
118. Moreover, the three-year Land Sharing Pilot Scheme will start receiving applications in the first half of this year. The area of land to be approved will be capped at 150 hectares. I believe that this can supplement the supply of public and private housing in the short to medium term.
119. According to the latest forecast, the total public housing production in the five-year period from 2019-20 to 2023-24 is about 100 400 units, comprising about 74 400 public rental housing and Green Form Subsidised Home Ownership Scheme units and about 26 000 other subsidised sale units. On private housing, it is estimated that the private sector will, on average, complete about 19 600 private residential units annually from 2020 to 2024, an increase of about 25 per cent over the annual average of the past five years.
Long-term Planning for Land Resources
120. Over the past year, the Steering Committee on Land Supply under my leadership had been co-ordinating policy bureaux to re-assess the future land requirements of Hong Kong with the concept of land reserve in mind. The latest land forecast, scheduled to be announced in the second quarter of this year, will provide a blueprint of land search and creation for the Government.
121. Regarding the studies related to Lantau Tomorrow, the DEVB is seeking funding from the LegCo for carrying out engineering, planning and financial assessments. The Government will also strive to secure early approval of the funding for conducting the combined study on the Lung Kwu Tan reclamation and the re-planning of Tuen Mun West (covering a total of approximately 440 hectares of land) for industrial, residential and other development uses. I am aware that some members of the public are concerned that the construction of Lantau Tomorrow may impose a heavy burden on public finances. In this regard, the Government has all along been implementing a stringent audit and monitoring mechanism for the approval of funding for public works and the use of public funds. We are confident in and capable of ensuring that the Government can afford the expenditure on future works.
122. The 2020-21 Land Sale Programme comprises a total of 15 residential sites, capable of providing about 7 500 residential units. Together with railway property development projects and private development and redevelopment projects, the potential land supply for the whole year is expected to have a capacity of providing about 15 700 units.
123. To meet the needs of economic development, the Government will include six commercial sites in the Land Sale Programme, estimated to provide about 830 000 square metres of floor area. The Secretary for Development will shortly announce the details of the Land Sale Programme for the next financial year.
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