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Asia Minute: Hong Kong’s Housing Challenge

Studio Incendo / Flickr
Studio Incendo / Flickr

There’s no question that Hawai‘i has a shortage of affordable housing. That’s also a frequent complaint for a growing number of cities in the Asia Pacific. And in Hong Kong, some of the projections are dramatic. HPR’s Bill Dorman has details in today’s Asia Minute.

Hong Kong’s government believes the city needs one million more apartments.

Not right now—but over the next thirty years.

City planners say Hong Kong will need 460,000 new apartments over the next decade. Just to keep pace with a growing population and displacement caused by other development projects in the city. And these are not large living spaces.

According to a planning document released by the Hong Kong government, the average size of a privately owned apartment now under construction in the city is 620 square feet. For public housing, space is even tighter: 431 square feet, according to the Hong Kong Housing Authority.

Part of the problem is a lack of space to construct new apartment buildings.

A separate paper recently published by city planners calls for new property developments in two areas: one in the northern New Territories and a second on reclaimed land east of Lantau Island.

It’s all part of a proposal called “Hong Kong 2030 Plus.” A blueprint for the future which is currently under a period of public review.

The plans for Lantau Island face a great deal of local opposition with one group calling it a waste of money that by the time it’s built would produce more housing than Hong Kong will need.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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