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New PLH model makes public housing more equitable

Before the new rules extend to more flats, test them against equity concerns from home owners' point of view

The PLH model is a very good step in the right direction, but before it is extended, it should be tweaked to give space to more diverse family types, says the author. PHOTO: ST FILE
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The development of new prime location public housing (PLH) is an opportunity for a deep rethink of the Housing Board's decades-old policy of building affordable flats for families for owner occupation, while letting home owners enjoy capital gains if they decide to sell the flat on the resale market after the minimum occupation period (MOP).

The new PLH model announced last week changes the rules of the game in a definitive way. Changes include: introducing higher subsidies to keep these flats affordable; lengthening the MOP from five to 10 years; not allowing renting out of the whole flat; and introducing a "subsidy recovery" regime to make sure flat sellers pay back a percentage of resale flat prices to make up for the extra subsidies enjoyed on initial purchase.

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