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Harmonious Families Transfer Exercise

Harmonious Families Transfer (HFT) Exercise (October 2018)

Notice on Application for Transfer

Application Period:15 October 2018 to 14 December 2018

 

The Hong Kong Housing Authority (HA) is going to launch a Harmonious Families Transfer (HFT) Exercise to boost a family-based support network.  It provides opportunities for Public Rental Housing (PRH) tenants to apply for transfer to the same estate in which their elderly parents/offspring is currently living in for mutual care (in the absence of suitable resources, a flat of suitable size in the nearest available estate will be allocated).  Elderly parents living in PRH can nominate one of their offsprings/spouse of their offspring to apply for this transfer scheme.  Younger generations can also nominate their parent(s)/parent(s)-in-law to apply for HFT.

 

Criteria  for Application

(A)   The applicant and nominator must fulfill all the following eligibility criteria:

(1) The applicant and nominator should both be public rental housing households living in PRH flats located in different District Council (DC) districts.  The applying family must obtain the nomination from their correlative elderly parent(s)/parent(s)-in-law or younger generation (child/child-in-law) before qualifying for this transfer exercise to apply for transfer to a suitable flat in the estate where their elderly parent(s)/ parents-in-law or younger generation are currently living in for mutual care, or in the absence of housing resources transfer to the nearest estate with a suitable flat.
(2) The elderly parent(s)/parent(s)-in-law must be an all elderly PRH household (i.e. all household members aged 60 or above, single person elderly family is also eligible for nomination or application).  If there are joint tenants in an all elderly households, both of them can nominate their own offspring for transfer or apply for transfer nearer to their own offspring separately.  The above individual applications do not apply to joint tenants with kinship.
(3)

Applicant should be the tenant of a PRH household while the nominator can either be the tenant or an authorized family member if the nominating family is an all elderly household.   Otherwise, the nominator should be the tenant of a PRH household also.   Elderly household applicants should be the parent(s)/parent(s)-in-law of the nominators.  Whilst younger household applicants should be the child/child-in-law of the nominators. The applicant and nominator must provide documentary proof on their relationship.

(4) Household size of the applying family, including the total number of family members listed in the present tenancy agreement and the number of grade-ups (head-ups) specified below, must not exceed nine heads. Applying families with household size of ten heads or more is advised to contact their Estate Office (EO)/District Tenancy Management Office (DTMO) for application for special transfer. One-grade-up (one-head-up) for computation of household size will be granted to the applying family with an authorized member :
(i) having an expected child of 16 weeks gestation or above;
(ii) requiring non-temporary indoor use of wheelchair,
(iii) being a tetraplegic patient;
(iv) being a renal patient in need of continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) at home; or
(v)

being a hyperactive patient.

Granting of one-grade-up to the above applying family is subject to the provision of a valid medical certificate (For details, please refer to part (I) of Application Details below).

(5)

Each elderly household is entitled to successful application of the HFT exercise once (irrespective of the role as nominating or applying family).  The elderly household who has successfully nominated or transferred through previous HFT exercise is barred from application/nomination in this HFT exercise.

(6)

Locality restriction on transfer is applicable to flat allocations under this exercise [For details, please refer to part (C) of Application Details below].

(7)

The applicant family must terminate the tenancy of their existing PRH flat within 60 days after commencement of tenancy of the allocated flat, and surrender the existing flat to the Housing Department (HD).  If they have rented more than one flat, they should surrender all flats to the HD.

(8)

All applications and Letters of Intention must be vetted initially by the EOs or DTMOs.  The occupancy position and tenancy of the applying and the nominating households must be confirmed in order before the applications are referred to the Lettings Unit of the HD for further processing.

(9)

From the date of completion of the application form up to the date of signing a new tenancy agreement for a PRH flat allocated under this exercise, the applicant, the nominating household and their family members should not, through other applications, have accepted a flat allocated, successfully entered into purchase agreement of domestic flat sold under various ownership schemes launched by the HA or Hong Kong Housing Society (HS) or obtained other public housing benefits.

(10)

The Applicant and the nominating household must not be served with a notice-to-quit or barred from transfer by the HD as a result of a breach of the tenancy agreement of their existing flat.

(11)

The PRH flats which the applicant and the nominating household are currently residing in should not be included in the Estate Clearance Plan.

(12)

The Applicant and his/her family members must not have any valid points under the Marking Scheme for Estate Management Enforcement in Public Housing Estate from the date of submission of application up to the time prior to the signing of the tenancy agreement of the newly allocated flat. Otherwise, the applicant will not be eligible to apply for transfer and the submitted application will be cancelled immediately.

(13)

The Applicant must not be housed to the current PRH unit through the Express Flat Allocation Scheme for less than three years counting from the commencement date of the initial tenancy up to the closing date of the application.

(14) If the flat the Applicant currently residing in is a prolonged vacant flat let with Rent Reduction benefits, the period between the commencement date of the existing tenancy and the closing date of application of this exercise must be three years or more (except under the scenario when transfer for overcrowding or other special reasons was involved during the interim).
(15)

Households holding licences originated from Elderly Property Owner-Occupiers in private dilapidated buildings or conditional tenancy or market rent payers are ineligible for application under this transfer exercise.

 

(B)    Tenants of Housing for Senior Citizens (HSC)

Tenants of HSC granted with approval-in-principle to add their new family member(s) in the HFT application may apply for the exercise if such approval-in-principle does not affect the eligibility for application for HFT.  In the event that the HSC household cannot be successfully rehoused through the exercise, the application number including the approved inclusion of the sought-to-be-added for the HFT purpose will be null and void and no addition will be effected in the existing tenancy.

Application Procedures

Interested and eligible households can obtain a Letter of Intention and Application Form from their respective EOs or DTMOs. They may complete the application form and submit it together with the signed Letter of Intention, copy of Tenancy Agreement from nominating family and supporting relationship documentary proof to their respective EOs/DTMOs in person during office hours from 15.10.2018 to 14.12.2018. Late applications will not be considered.

Application Details:

(A)

Order of Priority for Flat Allocation

Batch allocation of flats by computer will be arranged according to the following criteria with priority being determined by :-

i)    age of the elderly as at closing date of the application period in the elderly household (the eldest will count for households having more than one elder);

ii)   the length of residence of the applicant family in PRH; and

iii)  balloting by computer if the above conditions (i) to (ii) fail to determine the priority.

The order of priority for flat allocation as determined by the computer is only applicable to this transfer exercise and will become invalid automatically with the completion of the flat allocation process.

Flat Allocation will be arranged by computer batching and only ONE single offer of one flat will be made for each application.  Due to the limitation of allocation quota, if the number of applications received for this exercise exceeds the said quota, HD cannot guarantee that every eligible applicant can be allocated with a suitable flat. Upon exhaustion of the quota, unsuccessful applications with low priority of flat selection will be cancelled, and applicants have to apply afresh when HFT exercise is again launched.

 

(B)

Restrictions on Flat Allocation

(1)   The Subsidized Housing Committee of the HA approved on 23.10.2008 to relax the locality restriction of HFT exercises. Eligible applicants belonging to one of the three categories listed below may be allocated with a suitable flat, regardless of district, in the estate in which the nominating family is currently living in, or in the absence of housing resources, a suitable flat in the nearest available district, so far as the applicant family and the nominating family are living in different DC districts.

i)    applying households with residence period Note of seven years or more in PRH on the application deadline of this exercise (the commencement date of the PRH residence period should thus fall on or before 14.12.2011).

ii)   either the applying or nominating family has a child aged below six at the commencement date of the application period (date of birth of the child should fall on or after 16.10.2012), and the applying family has a PRH residence period of five years or more on the closing date of application period (the commencement date of the residence period should thus fall on or before 14.12.2013); or

iii)  either the applying or nominating family has an authorized member with 16 weeks gestation or above on the closing date of application period (the expected delivery date should fall on or before 31.5.2019, and the applying family has a PRH residence period of five years or more on the closing date of application period (the commencement date of the tenancy must fall on or before 14.12.2013).

Note :    Applicants are advised to enquire their respective EO or DTMO for their PRH residence period.

 

(C)

Locality Restriction

Applicants with PRH residence period less than above-described are still subject to the following locality restrictions :

District of Applicants’ Residing EstateAllocation District

Urban Area
(including Hong Kong Island and Kowloon)

Flats in the Urban Area, the Extended-urban Area, Outlying Islands and the New Territories

Extended-urban Area and Outlying Islands
(including Tsuen Wan, Kwai Chung, Tsing Yi, Shatin, Ma On Shan, Tseung Kwan O, Tung Chung and Outlying Islands)

Restricted to flats in the Extended-urban Area, Outlying Islands and the New Territories

New Territories
(including Tuen Mun, Tin Shui Wai, Yuen Long, Tai Po, Fanling and Sheung Shui)

Restricted to flats in the New Territories and Tung Chung

Flats suitable for the family sizes of the applicant families will be allocated according to the prevailing public rental housing Allocation Standards.

 

(D)

Allocation Principles and Quota of Flats

Subject to availability of resources, HD will try to allocate as far as practicable a flat to the applicant according to the nominating household’s district of residence.  To facilitate mutual care, HD will try to allocate a flat in the estate the nominating household is currently residing in, but in the absence of housing resources, a flat in the nearest available estate will be allocated.

As housing resources are limited, the annual quota set aside for this type of applications is 1,000 flats.  If the number of applications received for HFT exercises exceed the said quota, HD cannot guarantee that all eligible applicants will have the opportunity for flat allocation.  Unsuccessful applicants will be notified in writing and they have to apply afresh in future HFT exercises.

 

(E)

Anticipated Date of Allocation

Offer letters will be issued to successful applicants according to their priority of allocation starting from February 2019. The duration of allocation depends on the number of applications received and the availability of housing resources in the target districts of allocation.

 

(F)

Cancellation of Applications due to Refusal of Offer or Quota Exhaustion

Applications will be cancelled upon exhaustion of quota or refusal of offer. However, the opportunity of unsuccessful applicants in applying for future transfer exercises will not be affected as a result.

If the applying family is an overcrowded family, and he/she does not accept the housing offer or does not turn up to complete the intake formalities under this transfer exercise, “unreasonable refusal” records will not be accorded.

 

(G)

Income/Assets Tests

Applicants are not required to undergo income/assets tests in this transfer exercise. However, PRH tenants having lived in PRH flats for ten years are required to undergo income/assets tests under the Well-off Tenants Policies. Applicants under Tenancy Management Policy or with tenancies acquired through Grant of New Tenancy have to make biennial declaration on income/assets irrespective of their length of residence in PRH. The ten-year PRH residence period is counted from the commencement date of the tenancy agreement of the initial public housing allocation.

 

(H)

Payment of Rent for the Newly Allocated Flat

For applicants who are paying normal rent for their existing flats, they only need to pay normal rent for the newly allocated flat. However, if the household income or total net household assets of the applicants subsequently exceed the prescribed Public Rental Housing income limits or the net asset limits, they will have to pay 1.5 times net rent plus rates, double net rent plus rates or market net rent plus rates in accordance with the Well-off Tenants Policies Tenancy Management Policy and Grant of New Tenancy. For applicants who are paying 1.5 times net rent plus rates or double net rent plus rates for their existing flats, they will have to pay 1.5 times net rent plus rates or double net rent plus rates for the newly allocated flat.

For applicants who are paying hardship rent, they will have to pay normal rent for the newly allocated flat.

 

(I)

Special Conditions

(1)   Households with Pregnant Members

On or before the closing date of application period, if any authorized member of the applicant’s household has an expected child with 16 weeks gestation or above on the date of application (the expected delivery date should fall on or before 31.5.2019), the expected child will be counted as a full family member (a valid original medical certificate has to be submitted together with the application).

(2)     Households with Special Need Members

For applying families with authorized persons having non-temporary need for indoor use of wheelchair, suffering from Tetraplegic or CAPD, or being a hyperactive patient, one-grade-up (one-head-up) arrangement will be granted to the household upon flat allocation subject to the provision of a valid medical certificate.

 

(J)

Cancellation of Application Upon Change of Family Particulars or Family Size

If, after submission of the application, information provided in the application form or Letter of Intention becomes outdated and the applicant is rendered ineligible for the current transfer exercise as a result of change(s) in family particulars or family size of either the applicant or the nominating household, the application may be cancelled. At the time of turning up for signing-up procedures, the applicant should report to the intake office on any change of family composition for his/her family or the nominating household with relevant supporting documents for further consideration.

 

(K)

Other Transfer/Public Housing Applications

Applicant can be housed to public housing through one channel only. Upon acceptance of the allocation under this transfer exercise, all public housing/transfer application(s) of the applicant and/or his/her family members will be cancelled.

 

(L)

Entering into Purchase Agreement of Domestic Flat Sold under Various Ownership Schemes

From the date of completing the application form for this exercise up to the date of signing a new tenancy agreement for the allocated flat, if the applicant, the nominator or any family members of either party has/have entered into purchase agreement(s) of domestic flat(s) sold under various ownership schemes launched by the HA or HS, the applicant or the nominator should report to his/her respective EO or DTMO immediately with relevant supporting documents for HD’s further consideration.

 

(M)

Elderly Households applying for future HFT Exercises

If the applying family has accepted a housing transfer under the HFT exercise, no matter the family has successfully moved into the offered flat or not, the respective elderly household (irrespective of the role as nominating or applying family) will be debarred from application in future HFT exercises.  The debarment will be maintained, notwithstanding there is a circumstantial change in the elderly household or the elderly is subsequently rehoused to another flat through internal/special transfer on special grounds.

 

(N)

No Domestic Removal Allowance (DRA) Granted

Under the prevailing housing policy, Converted One-person (C1P), under-occupied households and HSC tenants affected by the HSC conversion programme are entitled to payment of DRA upon successfully rehoused through internal transfer or special transfer. However, applicants (including households occupying C1P tenants flats, under-occupied households and HSC) will not be granted any DRA upon successful allocation of a flat under this transfer exercise.  

 

(O)

Permission for Dog Keeping Under the Temporary Permission Rule (TPR)

The permission granted under the TPR for keeping dogs in the existing flats is not applicable to flats in Tenant Purchase Scheme (TPS) estates, Buy or Rent Option Scheme (BRO) estates and PRH estates converted from Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) projects. Therefore, if the applicant is subsequently transferred to these estates, the permission for dog keeping currently granted to him/her under TPR will become void and irretrievable. Upon the cancellation of the permission, the applicant, under any circumstances, will no longer be allowed to keep any dogs (including the dogs which have been granted permission for keeping) under TPR. Owing to resources constraints, we cannot guarantee that the applicant will not be offered rental flats in estates under TPS, BRO or conversion from HOS flats.

 

(P)

False Statement or Wilful Concealment of Tenancy Changes

From the date of completion of the application form up to the date of signing a new tenancy for a PRH flat allocated under this exercise, the applicant must report the case truly to the HD when there is a change in the family particulars or in the number of authorized persons listed in his/her tenancy agreement or that of the nominating household, or when other household members have successfully gained benefits related to other public housing resources.

Under Section 26(1)(c) of the Housing Ordinance (Cap. 283), any person who knowingly makes any false statement to the HA in respect of an application for a public housing flat shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine at Level 5 as specified in Schedule 8 to the Criminal Procedure Ordinance (Cap. 221) and to imprisonment for six months (as at the date of Application Form for Transfer is revised, the maximum fine at Level 5 is HK$50,000). In addition, such person may be subject to a further fine of treble the amount of the rent undercharged according to Section 26(1A) of Housing Ordinance (Cap. 283). If any person who knowingly makes any false statement or provides false information, HA may terminate both the current and new tenancies by virtue of its powers conferred under the Housing Ordinance irrespective of whether he/she shall be prosecuted or convicted of the relevant offence.

 

(Q)

Vacant Possession of Existing Flats

Households who have successfully applied for transfer should deliver up vacant possession of the existing rental flats to the HD within the period specified by the Department.

 

(R)

Enquiries

For enquiries, please contact the respective EOs or DTMOs.

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