CityU survey reveals popular support for more public housing

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Hong Kong people favour building more public housing and giving more subsidies to public housing, according to a survey conducted by City University of Hong Kong (CityU).

As part of a larger research project on the future of public rental housing in Hong Kong, the CityU research team, led by Professor Ray Forrest and Dr Yip Ngai-ming of the Department of Public and Social Administration, interviewed some 3000 individuals in November and December 2010. Highlights of the results are as follows:

  • 87% of all respondents (90% among public tenants only) thought that the government should build more public rental housing;
  • 68% of all respondents (74% among public tenants only) thought that the government should give more subsidies to public rental housing;
  • 48% of all respondents (48% among public tenants only) thought that public rental housing should be available to a wider cross section of society rather than only for poorer households;
  • half of all existing public sector tenants would ideally like to be home owners but only 15% would like to move from the sector in the foreseeable future;
  • 43% of all respondents thought that public housing made Hong Kong a more equal society; 10% thought it made the society less equal; and
  • there was limited support for giving people subsidies to rent privately: less than a third of the respondents thought it was a good idea, with more than half regarding it as a bad idea. The home owners in the sample were least supportive.

The research project, funded by a grant from the Central Policy Unit of the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Research Grants Council, is designed to investigate the changing social role of the public rental housing sector in Hong Kong. Its primary aim is to anticipate new challenges which may lie ahead for policymakers and to explore potential policy options.

All interviews were conducted over the telephone. Of the 3013 interviews, 2002 were with current public housing tenants. The remainder of the sample breaks down as follows: 72 Tenant Purchase Scheme, 210 Home Ownership Scheme, 583 Private owners, 139 Private renters and 7 others.

Media enquiries:

Professor Ray Forrest (Tel: 3442 7308) or Dr Yip Ngai-ming (Tel: 3442 9366), Department of Public and Social Administration, CityU.

Michelle Leung, Communications and Public Relations Office, CityU (Tel: 3442 6827 or 9050 7507)


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