Housing Society's Subletting Plan Falls Flat

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2019-05-21 HKT 14:22

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  • The plan was meant to put a temporary roof over the heads of needy families by allowing owners of subsidised flats to rent out their spare bedrooms. File photo: RTHK

    The plan was meant to put a temporary roof over the heads of needy families by allowing owners of subsidised flats to rent out their spare bedrooms. File photo: RTHK

A Housing Society scheme allowing subsidised flat owners to sublet their homes to needy families is yet to record even one successful deal – eight months after the pilot programme was launched.

The scheme was meant to allow flat owners to rent out spare bedrooms to families waiting for public housing. Tens of thousands of families on the waiting list are being squeezed by rising rents in the city and the government is under pressure to provide transitional homes for them.

The society said on Tuesday that so far, 13 owners have applied to take part in the scheme, with 53 tenants seeking to rent. While five owners have been approved to rent out their rooms, and 22 tenants have been deemed qualified to rent them, no match has successfully been found.

Officials are now looking at improving the terms to encourage more owners and tenants to take part. It said the measures are expected to be announced soon.

Currently, the pilot scheme allows the renting out of spare bedrooms only, and sources said the society is now considering allowing entire flats to be leased out.

The sources said some of the owners have had reservations about renting out bedrooms, because they don't want to live with the tenants. But some owners may be willing to rent out the whole flat to more than one family.

As to how families would be able to afford to rent out the flats, a member of the Housing Authority's subsidised housing sub-committee, Anthony Chiu, said it may also be a good idea to allow more than one tenant to share a flat.