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

Application Notice onTerritory-wide Overcrowding Relief Exercise (TWOR) and Living Space Improvement Transfer Scheme (LSITS)

(Application Period: 10 to 21 September 2018)

Public rental housing (PRH) flats in the Urban area, Extended Urban area, Outlying Islands and New Territories are now available for application by eligible households for transfer purpose.

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

(1)     Families with household size not exceeding nine heads and living density less than 7m2 Internal Floor Area (IFA) per person can apply for transfer under this exercise. Household size of the applying family includes the total number of authorized members listed in the present tenancy agreement. Besides, if medical certificate can be produced to prove an authorized member of the applying family meets the following criteria, one-grade-up (one-head-up) for computation of household size and living density will be granted:

         (i) having an expected child of 16 weeks gestation or above; or

         (ii) requiring non-temporary indoor use of wheelchair; or

         (iii) being a tetraplegic patient; or

         (iv) being a renal patient in need of continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) at home; or

         (v) being a hyperactive patient.

         【Please refer to Item (D)(8) for details.】

(2)    Family size including the number of grade-ups (head-ups as mentioned in Point (1) above) must not exceed nine persons.

(3)    None of the family members listed in the application form should own any domestic property (please refer to the application form), including entering into purchase agreement(s) of domestic flats(s) sold under various ownership schemes launched by the Hong Kong Housing Authority (HA) or Hong Kong Housing Society (HS) during the period.

(4)    The applicant and family members must pass the Comprehensive Means Test (CMT) and Domestic Property Test (DPT). In this regard, the applicant must provide relevant documentary proof to the respective Estate Office (EO) or District Tenancy Management Office (DTMO) before the closing date of application for vetting.

(5)    Tenancy and occupancy position of the applicants must be in order.

(6)    The applicant and his/her family members must not have accepted a flat allocated to him/her through other applications or have successfully obtained other public housing benefits 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.

(7)    The applicant must not have been served with a notice-to-quit or barred from transfer by the Housing Department (HD) owing to a breach of the existing tenancy agreement.

(8)    The PRH flat that the applicant is currently occupying is not affected by any redevelopment or estate clearance programme.

(9)    The applicant and his/her family members must not have been recorded any valid points under the Marking Scheme for Estate Management Enforcement in Public Housing Estates (Marking Scheme) from the date of completion of the application form 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.

(10)    For households with living density below 5.5m2 per person who were housed through the Express Flat Allocation Scheme (EFAS) launched before 2017, they are eligible to apply for this transfer exercise. But for those housed through EFAS launched from 2017 onwards, they should have a tenancy duration of at least three years for fulfilling the eligibility of this transfer exercise.

(11)    Households with living density of 5.5m2 to below 7m2 per person who were housed through EFAS or taking up prolonged vacant PRH flats with rent reduction incentives, they are only eligible to apply for this transfer exercise if they have a tenancy duration of at least three years counting from the commencement date of their initial tenancy up to the closing date of the application.

(12) For households taking up prolonged vacant PRH flats with rent reduction incentives and become overcrowded (with living density below 5.5m2 per person) in less than three years counting from the commencement date of their tenancy, they are eligible to apply for this exercise to relieve their overcrowding.

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

Tenants of HSC with housing problem arising from their marriage or family reunion should obtain the concerned EOs/DTMOs’ approval-in-principle for addition of their sought-to-be added family member(s) in the first instance. The HD will consider this kind of applications according to the prevailing policies on addition/conditional temporary stay and will decide whether to accept such HSC tenants’ applications for transfer under this exercise according to the established transfer mechanism. In addition, these tenants must also fulfill the eligibility criteria for common households and comply with the application details.

(C)    Submission of Applications

Eligible households interested in this exercise may complete and submit the Application Form and the Income and Assets Declaration Form to the respective EOs or DTMOs during office hours from 10 to 21 September 2018. Late submission will not be considered. All applications will be vetted by the EOs or DTMOs which will be referred to Lettings Unit of the HD for further processing.

(D)    Application Details:

(1) Order of Priority

Flat allocation by means of Flat Selection Exercise with a Single Queue will be adopted. Flat selection priority for all eligible applications will be based on the following order:

(i)     household with higher living density (household with lesser average living area per person);

(ii)     household of a larger family size;

(iii)     household with a longer period of residence (according to the latest date of commencement of current tenancy);

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

The order of priority for flat selection as determined by the computer is only applicable to this TWOR & LSITS exercise and will be invalidated automatically upon the completion of the flat selection process.

(2) Restrictions on Flat Selection

Eligible applicants with ten years or above continuous PRH residence periodNoteon the application deadline of this exercise (the effective commencement date of the tenancy must be on or before 21.9.2008) may select suitable flat in any districts. Applicants who do not have ten years continuous residence period in PRH are still subject to the following locality restrictions on flat selection:

District of Applicants' Residing EstateDistrict Available for Flat Selection
Urban Area
(including Hong Kong Island and Kowloon)
Listed flats in the Urban Area, the Extended Urban Area, the 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 the listed flats in the Extended Urban Area, the Outlying Islands and the New Territories
New Territories
(including Tuen Mun, Tin Shui Wai, Yuen Long, Tai Po, Fanling and Sheung Shui)
Restricted to the listed flats in the New Territories and Tung Chung District

An applicant must select a flat within the allocation range of the family size. Under special circumstances, he/ she may select a flat below the allocation range of the family size but the IFA of the selected flat should not be less than 5.5m2 per person and must be larger than that of his/her existing flat.

(3)     Condition of Estates Where Flats are Available for Selection

Flats in various estates in Urban, Extended Urban Area, Outlying Islands and the New Territories will be pooled for selection subject to the availability of housing resources.

However, flats suitable for larger family size are at present in acute shortage, the HA can only provide a very limited amount of these flats for applicants’ selection.

(4)    Flat Selection and Allocation

This scheme adopts a flat selection mode of allocation. Eligible applicants will be notified according to the priority order by post to select PRH flats from the list of flats provided by the Lettings Unit at the Flat Selection Centre. Each eligible applicant will have only one chance of flat selection for one flat.

As housing resources are limited, flats available for selection will depend on the number of applications received and the supply of housing resources at that time. The HD cannot guarantee that all eligible applicants will have the opportunity of flat selection/allocation. Upon the use up of quota, applications of those who are not being invited to flat selection or not successful in selecting a flat will be cancelled automatically. However, their future applications will not be affected.

Note:   The flat selection period of this TWOR & LSITS exercise is tentatively scheduled for January and February 2019 and it will last for about six weeks. The HD will not re-arrange flat selection appointments after the close of flat selection period for applicants or their authorized persons if they cannot turn up within the said scheduled flat selection period.

(5)     Unreasonable Refusal

(i)      Records of unreasonable refusal (UR) in previous TWOR or LSITS will be maintained.

(ii)      If an eligible applicant refuses the housing offers (including relinquishing his/her 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 three TWOR or LSITS exercises, his/her eligibility for the TWOR or LSITS exercise will be frozen for one year counting from the day following the closing date of their last TWOR or LSITS application.

(iii)      If an applicant withdraws his/her application from this exercise in the course of processing on personal grounds through submitting a written notification on his/her withdrawal from application to the respective EO or DTMO prior to the date of flat selection, or signs an undertaking to the same effect on the date of flat selection upon deciding not to select a flat, or there remains no flats suitable for the applicant’s family size in the region he/she is eligible to select during his/her turn of selection, the refusal will not be counted as an UR. However, if the applicant has not submitted the said written notification and relinquishes his/her chance of flat selection, the refusal will be counted as an UR which will be recorded for the purpose of future debarment from application as explained in para. 5(ii) above.

(iv)    If information provided in the application for this TWOR & LSITS exercise becomes outdated as a result of a change in his/her family particulars or family size after completion of the application form, rendering the applicant ineligible for application of the current TWOR & LSITS exercise, or if the applicant’s household has record of valid points allotted under the Marking Scheme, the application will be cancelled. The refusals under such circumstances will not be counted as UR.

(6)     Comprehensive Means Test and Domestic Property Test

Households applying for transfer under this TWOR & LSITS exercise must pass the CMT and DPT. They should declare their incomes and assets, including whether they own any domestic property in Hong Kong according to the existing policies of the HD. As such, all income-earning family members listed in the application must provide valid income proofs (e.g. salary statements, bank records, etc.) and documentary proof of their assets to the respective EOs or DTMOs for assessment at the time when submitting their applications.

For applicants who have been accepted to join other transfer exercise(s) or have been approved for application(s) under Tenancy Management Policies / Policy on Grant of New Tenancy, which require(s) passing of the CMT and DPT in the past one year, and there is no change in their family particulars or incomes and the total household net asset value does not exceed 100 times the prevailing Public Rental Housing Income Limits (PRHILs), fresh income and assets proofs may not be required. However, the final decision rests with the respective EOs/DTMOs.

(7)     Rent of the Newly Allocated Flat

For an applicant whose family does not have domestic property ownership in Hong Kong and whose total household net asset value does not exceed the limit under Well-off Tenants Policies (WTP), and (i) if the assessed total household income of an applicant exceeds two times and not more than three times the PRHILs, the applicant will have to pay 1.5 times net rent plus rates for the newly allocated flat upon transfer; (ii) if the assessed total household income exceeds three times and not more than five times the PRHILs, the applicant will have to pay double net rent plus rates for the newly allocated flat. If the applicant cannot pass the income & assets tests or DPT, his/her application for transfer under the TWOR & LSIST will be cancelled.

Upon successful transfer, the applicant must declare his/her household income and total household assets, including whether they own any domestic property in Hong Kong to the HA every two years, irrespective of the rent he/she is paying, for determining the amount of rent payable and his/her eligibility for continued residence in PRH flats.

(8)     Special Conditions

(i) Households with Pregnant Members

During the application period, if any authorized member(s) of the applicant's household is/are with no less than 16 weeks pregnant (the expected delivery date should be on or before 8 March 2019), the expected child of 16 weeks gestation or above on the date of application is counted as a full family member in the calculation of family size and the living density (a valid original medical certificate has to be submitted together with the application).

(ii) Households with Special Need Members

One-grade-up (one-head-up) for computation of living density and allocation upon flat selection will be granted subject to the provision of a valid medical certificate to households with individual authorized member requiring non-temporary indoor use of wheelchair, being a tetraplegic patient, being a renal patient in need of CAPD at home or being a hyperactive patient.

(9)   Change of Family Size

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 the exercise, the applicant has to fulfill the eligibility criteria of the TWOR & LISTS (i.e. including the basic criteria of living density below 7m2/person etc.) even if there is a change in his/her family particulars or family size. Otherwise, his/her application or the flat selected/allocated will be cancelled.

(10)   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 applications of the applicant and/or his/her family members will be cancelled.

(11)   Domestic Removal Allowance

All applicants will not be granted any Domestic Removal Allowance (DRA) upon successful allocation of a flat under this voluntary transfer exercise. Under the existing housing policy, converted one-person flat tenants and HSC tenants affected by the HSC Conversion Programme are entitled to payment of DRA upon successfully rehousing through internal transfer or special transfer. However, such DRA payment arrangement does not apply to this transfer exercise.

(12)   Allotment of Points under the Marking Scheme or Breach of Tenancy Agreement

Upon the implementation of the Marking Scheme by the HA, any tenant who has been allotted with points is not eligible to apply for transfer. As such, if an applicant is allotted with points under the Marking Scheme or in breach of the tenancy agreement from the date of completion of the application form up to the date of signing the tenancy agreement of the newly allocated flat, he/she will not be eligible to apply for this transfer exercise. The application concerned and the allocation made in consequence of the application will be cancelled immediately.

(13)   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. Applicants enjoying such permission are advised to avoid selecting rental flats in estates under TPS, BRO or flats converted from HOS flats.

(14)   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 agreement for a PRH flat allocated under this exercise, the applicant must report the case truly to the respective EO or DTMO when there is a change in his/her family particulars or in the number of authorized persons listed in the tenancy agreement, or when any household members have successfully applied for other public housing resources and benefits including entering into purchase agreement(s) of domestic flats(s) sold under various ownership schemes launched by the HA or HS.

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, the 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.

(15)   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.

(16)   Provision of Mobile Phone and Telephone Number

To facilitate communication, applicants are requested to provide updated mobile phone and other contact telephone numbers to us so that when flats remained behind are not suitable for the applicant’s selection, or on special occasions (for example, Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal No. 8 or higher or a Black Rainstorm Warning Signal is being hoisted or related warning announcement being issued), the HD can send them special messages through the Short Message Service (SMS) or contact them through the other contact telephones if feasible.

(17)   Enquiries

For enquiries, please contact your EO or DTMO.

Date: 10 September 2018

Note: Applicants may enquire their respective EO or DTMO for their PRH residence period.

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