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Rent Assistance Scheme
Photo: Rent Assistance Scheme

The Rent Assistance Scheme (RAS) aims to provide relief in the form of rent (Note 1) reductions to public rental housing (PRH) tenants (Note 2) who are facing temporary financial hardship. Eligible applicants will be granted either 25% or 50% rent reduction. Starting from 1 September 2016, the year of rent reduction granted will be extended from 1 year to 2 years.

To be eligible for the RAS, one has to fulfil the following requirements:

1. Regarding household income for:
 
  • Non-elderly households (eligible for a 50% rent reduction)
    - The household income is below 50% of the respective Income Limit for PRH; or
    - The rent-to-income ratio (RIR) exceeds 25%; or
    - The household income is between 50% and 70% of the respective Income Limit for PRH and the RIR exceeds 15%.
 
  • Non-elderly households (eligible for 25% rent reduction)
    - The household income is below 70% but not lower than 50% of the respective Income Limit for PRH; or
    - The RIR exceeds 18.5% but not exceeding 25%.
 
  • Elderly households (eligible for 50% rent reduction)
    - The household income is below 70% of the respective Income Limit for PRH; or
    - The RIR exceeds 18.5%.
      (An elderly household is one in which all members are aged 60 or above.)
2. No one in the household owns any domestic property in Hong Kong.
 
3. The size of the rental flat currently occupied does not exceed the respective maximum allocation standard.
       
4. No one in the household is receiving Comprehensive Social Security Assistance with rent allowance.

 

Households living in newer block types such as the Harmony blocks and blocks completed in or after 1992 must have fulfilled the two-year residence requirement before applying for the RAS. However, this does not apply to tenants affected by redevelopment.

Non-elderly RAS beneficiaries living in newer block types in need of further assistance after receiving rent assistance for four consecutive years will be required to move to cheaper accommodation in the same district, if suitable flats (Note 3) are available.  Elderly RAS recipients and families with disabled member living in newer block types and RAS recipients living in older block types (except for under-occupation cases) are exempted from the requirement of moving to cheaper accommodation after receiving rent assistance for four consecutive years.

If you want to apply for the RAS, please obtain an application form from your estate office, complete and return it together with the stipulated documents. 

Note 1: Refers to both the rent of PRH and the licence fee of interim housing (IH).
Note 2: Refers to both tenants of PRH and licencees of IH.
Note 3: Suitable flats refer to those in the same District Council with monthly rent 
           at least 20% less than the monthly full rent (i.e. the rent payable if rent 
           assistance is not available) of units presently occupied by the RAS
           recipients.


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