Hongkongers queuing for public housing will have to wait six years on average before being allocated a rental unit, according to the latest figures from the Housing Authority.

Data for September 2021 showed that the average waiting time for the previous 12 months was 5.9 years for general applicants. By the end of December, the wait had increased by 0.1 years to a total of six years. The wait for elderly single-person applicants also rose to four years before they could be allocated a flat, up from 3.8 years in the previous quarter.

Lion Rock with residential buildings in the foreground. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The latest figures are the highest since 1999, which also saw wait times of six years. The previous record was in 1998, when the average wait time was 6.5 years for general applicants, according to HK01.

The Housing Authority attributed the rising figures to the inclusion of data related to applicants allocated flats in newly constructed housing estates during the last quarter of 2021, including the Queen’s Hill Estate in Fanling, Kai Chuen Court in Diamond Hill, Pak Tin Estate in Sham Shui Po and Fu Tip Estate in Tai Po.

Around 5,320 applicants were allocated a flat between October and December last year, the public body said. There are a total of 248,500 outstanding applications for public housing.

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