Community Housing Movement

The Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS) launched the "Community Housing Movement" in September 2017. As the intermediary of the Movement, HKCSS establishes and operates a collaboration platform to bring in the joint efforts of landlords, social welfare agencies, professional bodies and different sectors of the community to provide affordable and decent transitional social housing to the grassroots without public housing support. The SIE Fund and the Community Chest have jointly provided HKCSS with a grant for funding the set-up of the platform and operational expenses of the intermediary during the three-year operation of the project.


About the Project

HKCSS, as the intermediary of the project, is responsible for soliciting idle or under-utilised accommodation, conducting inspection, leasing and basic renovation, and then subletting the housing units to non-governmental organisations and social enterprises for operation. HKCSS also connects professional bodies to assist in different matters, such as site inspection, tenancy agreement drafting and renovation, etc. The project aims to provide 500 units and benefit 1 000 grassroots households by August 2020. The rent is between the maximum level of the rent allowance under Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Scheme and rent of the Public Rental Housing, and it will not be higher than 25% of household income of the tenant.

Through the provision of accommodation and support services, the project can offer short-term relief to the individuals or families who are proven to be in need of transitional housing (queued for Public Rental Housing for not less than 3 years, or those with other long-term housing arrangement), currently living in dismal and inadequate housing conditions, as well as low income and in urgent need for community support. The project not only aims at meeting the transitional housing needs of the grassroots but also offering community support to them. Apart from providing accommodation, the operators also provide community-based social services, including personal development, life skills, community support and recreational activities, etc., to the tenants to enable them to live independently in the community in future.


Project Development

As at September 2019, the Community Housing Movement has provided transitional housing to about 290 households:

For more details, please refer to the Community Housing Movement website.

In addition to the number of flats provided, the Movement is also bringing about positive effects in different aspects.

Tenants, in interviews quoted in the First Annual Review Report (Nov 2017 - Oct 2018) prepared by HKCSS lately, praise the benefits to their well-being and their children's growth as living conditions and neighbourhood relations improve after having moved into social housing units. The Report also revealed that the average floor area per capita has increased by up to 40% while the average rental expense per month has decreased by around 30%.

The capacity of the Movement's partners was built. HKCSS has drawn up practice guidelines to support operators in the implementation and management of projects. Operators and frontline social workers acquire skills and knowledge in recruiting, matching and connecting tenant households, as well as in property maintenance and more.

The Movement is a successful demonstration of transitional housing. Social housing projects are being put forward or proposed by several organisations. Government measures to facilitate initiatives from the community are in place. [Note]

Community Housing Movement brings about positive effects in different aspects

 

Note
For instance, the Task Force on Transitional Housing has been set up under the Transport and Housing Bureau to co-ordinate and provide one-stop support for community-initiated projects (see paragraph 137, Transitional Housing, Budget Speech by the Financial Secretary, 2019-20 Budget); waiver fee, rent and associated costs are to be exempted for land applications related to the provision of transitional housing (see government press release issued on 18 April 2019).