Chief Executive Carrie Lam has announced the establishment of a working group to investigate issues relating to the city’s land supply policy.

The Task Force on Land Supply will comprise of 22 non-governmental and eight governmental officers, to be appointed for a total of 18 months starting from September 1.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam. Photo: RTHK screenshot.

It will be chaired by Stanley Wong, current Housing Authority member and chairman of its Subsidised Housing Committee. Dr. Greg Wong, a former president of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers, will serve as vice-chairman.

Lam said that she hopes that the group will be able to address citizens’ concerns regarding housing.

“As I said in my election manifesto, it is not true that Hong Kong does not have land fit for the construction of buildings, but what we have lacked for many years is a consensus regarding land supply. The establishment of the expert-led Land Supply Task Force will aim to open up discussions regarding the prioritisation of Hong Kong’s land supply options, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of these options, to reach a consensus and strategy for related work.”

Lam said the government is also investigating the issue of housing policy and will present the findings in her October policy address.

Kai Tai public housing development area. Photo: Wikicommons.

The government has previously sought to release land resources through redevelopment and rezoning, the development of rural land, the reuse of former-quarry sites, rock cavern development, and reclamation. However, such strategies have been criticised by environmentalists and conservationists as neglecting associated ecological, financial, and social costs.

See more: Think tank criticised for suggesting large-scale reclamation projects on Lamma, Cheung Chau, Po Toi

Photo: GovHK.

A spokesperson for the Development Bureau said that that the task force will initiate a public engagement exercise relating to its findings.

The group will include representatives from various professional disciplines, including planning, engineering, architecture, surveying and environment, as well as academia, think tanks, social services, housing development and district administration.

The first meeting will take place on September 6.

Jun Pang

Jun Pang is an independent writer and researcher. She has previously worked in NGOs advocating for refugees' and migrants' rights in Asia and Europe.