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Territory-wide Overcrowding Relief Exercise and Living Space Improvement Transfer Scheme

Taking into account the increasing demand for PRH and the fact that the basic housing needs of existing tenants had been met, Members of Subsidised Housing Committee endorsed at its meeting on 31.10.2016 that the Territory-wide Overcrowding Relief Transfer Exercise (TWOR) and the Living Space Improvement Transfer Scheme (LSITS) could be implemented in one-go starting from 2017/18. And, in order to expedite flat allocation to PRH applicants, these schemes will be arranged in the latter half of each year.

The TWOR and LSITS will be conducted centrally by the Applications Sub-section of the Housing Department (HD) once a year subject to availability of housing resources. Eligible applicants will be invited for flat selection.  However, households living in the New Territories (NT) may only select flats in the NT and Tung Chung while households in extended urban and Islands are not eligible to select flats in urban estates.  Eligible applicants with 10 years or above continuous PRH residence period do not have locality restriction. They may select flat in any districts.

Under the above transfer schemes, all PRH households living below 7 m2 internal floor area (IFA) per person may apply for transfer to a larger flat. Applicants are subject to passing the Domestic Property Test (DPT), i.e. during the period from the date of completion of the application form up to the date of signing the tenancy agreement of the flat allocated under this exercise, all household members must not own any domestic property in Hong Kong. Applicants are also required to pass the Comprehensive Means Test (CMT) with income and asset limits being the same as used in the Housing Subsidy Policy and the Policy on Safeguarding Rational Allocation of Public Housing Resources. At the meeting on 14 February 2017, the HA’s Subsidised Housing Committee endorsed the revised “Well-off Tenants Policies”. The revised “Well-off Tenants Policies” will be implemented in October 2017 and its income and asset limits will be applicable to the subsequent TWOR and LSITS Exercises.

The living density of applicants will determine the order of priority for flat selection - household with the highest density will come first. Density being the same, the household of a larger size will have priority.  Both conditions being the same, the length of residence in the existing tenancy will determine.  All things being equal, priority on flat selection will be determined by computer randomization.  On the production of medical certificate, an authorized member having an expected child of at least 16 weeks gestation as at the date of application, requiring non-temporary indoor use of wheelchair, being a tetraplegic patient, being a renal patient in need of continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis at home or being a hyperactive patient will have one-grade-up (one-head-up) in the calculation of household size and living density.  The concerned household should raise its request for inclusion to the estate office when applying.

After successful transfer to a larger flat, the households have to pay normal, 1.5 times or double net rent plus rates according to the level of their household income. They will be required to declare their household income and assets once every two years irrespective of the length of their residence in public housing.

Unsuccessful applicants may apply again in the next transfer scheme. However, if applicants refuse the housing offers (including relinquishing their chance for flat selection in the absence of prior written notification, failure to show up for flat selection and intake, and unreasonable refusal of the selected flat) in 3 exercises, their eligibility for applying the transfer scheme will be frozen for 1 year counting from the day following the closing date of their last application.

Details on the arrangements and eligibility criteria of TWOR and LSITS will be put up on notice boards, posters and website of HA/HD etc. for tenants' information.

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