THE Hong Kong Housing Society (香港房屋協會) will increase rents by 8 percent from 1 April at its 20 estates, affecting 32,000 residential units. The monthly rent increase per unit will average HK$159 – boosting rents to an average of about HK$2,150. The new rents will remain unchanged for two years.
The society, a self-financing not-for-profit organisation, considers the rise to be “relatively moderate” but lawmakers slammed it as excessive.
The rent level is determined mainly by operating costs – including the recurrent management expenses, tenancy administration costs, rates and government rents – as well as expenses for major improvement works, repairs and maintenance.
The society’s chief executive, Wong Kit-loong (黃傑龍), said operating costs have been on the rise due to higher wages and maintenance costs, and did not expect the books to be balanced even with the increase.
He said the society understands that the increment may impact some of the residents, so it will implement a rent-assistance scheme from 1 September to help those with financial difficulties.
Lawmaker Wilson Or Chong-shing (柯創盛), of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (民建聯), said the increase is “too much”.
“The increase is much higher than inflation. It would put more pressure on tenants,” he said.
(This article is published on Junior Standard on 18 January 2018)
Housing Society press release on rent increase
Housing – statistical highlights