Waiting Time Case Study

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According to the latest announce from Hong Kong Housing Authority, the average waiting time for public rental housing (PRH) of general application is more than 4 years. The below table show the average waiting time for public rental housing has been raised from 2.7 years to 4.1 years, which implies an upward trend. The average waiting time is expected to be increased continuously in future due to raising number of application. In a result of shortage of land, high property price and high rents in Hong Kong, public rental housing becomes the best housing solution for low income people, which increase the demand of public housing.

However, the so-called “average waiting time” is not accurate because the waiting time for different groups of
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As low income people can’t afford the high rents for private flats, subdivided flats is popular among low income people due to lower rent even though the living condition is cramped and low quality. The imbalance between supply and demand of public housing also make applicants have long wait for public units. During the long waiting time, these low-income families have to live in subdivided flats due to lower rentals. As a fact, not all families in subdivided flats apply for public housing due to excessed income and asset limits. Research by Society for Community Organization shows that 41.3% of families with children don not apply for public housing. However, they still can’t afford the high rentals for private housing and they could only turn to live in subdivided flats.

Also, this trend is contributed by the increasing number of working poor families in Hong Kong. Working poor families means household living under the poverty line with at least one employed family member. Despite the government claims to tackle this issue since 2013, the number still increased by 10 per cent to 190,000 families. One of reasons is the current minimum wage cannot catch up with inflation and the high expenditure such as rentals. Therefore, it is expected that there is increasing population of subdivided flats in future before the housing supply issue is tackled.
 Increasing Number of Children in Subdivided
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