SHKP and Welfare Council to build HK large-scale transitional housing

Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) and the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Welfare Council (the Welfare Council) have established a partnership to develop a large-scale transitional social housing project – called United Court – in Tung Tau, Yuen Long, Hong Kong. Scheduled for completion in early 2022, it aims to deliver a comfortable home for 1,600 underprivileged families and ultimately benefit 5,000 families.

In their statement, the partners said that United Court is also intended provide opportunities for residents to engage with the surrounding community, mutually benefitting one another, making it a distinctive transitional housing project in Hong Kong.

The 300,000-sq-ft development is located on Yuen Long Kau Hui Road near Shan Pui Tsuen. Apart from lending the lot for a minimum of eight years, SHKP will work on preliminary project planning and basic site formation, and provide property management consultancy upon completion. The Welfare Council will be responsible for project planning, construction, operation and management, and for providing residents with a variety of people-oriented community services.

According to the partners, the site has a proper rectangular shape and does not require government involvement in building large-scale infrastructure, such as roads. It is estimated that construction can be completed by the end of 2021, while the project will be ready for move-in by early 2022.

“The Welfare Council is glad to announce at the start of the year the collaboration with SHKP to develop this very meaningful transitional housing project, United Court, to help address the overcrowding living conditions of 1,600 underprivileged families. We estimate that up to 5,000 families will eventually benefit as they move in to United Court before being allocated public housing,” said Michael Lai, vice chairman of Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Welfare Council.

He added that United Court would feature people-oriented, engaging and harmonious community design, planning and facilities, including social enterprise stores and weekend markets, offering diverse community engagement opportunities for residents. The Welfare Council will also introduce a first-of-its-kind Well-Being Index that would promote healthy living habits, positive energy and confidence among residents. Plus, it will provide residents with services based on their physical, mental and spiritual health, in the hope of developing a systematic service operation model unique to community housing.

“SHKP understands the keen demand for housing in Hong Kong. We have therefore leveraged our resources to help improve the living conditions of underprivileged families. Earlier, SHKP had lent some village house flats in Tuen Mun to Yan Oi Tong via The Hong Kong Council of Social Service to develop into Green Garden, a transitional social housing project. The success of Green Garden has given us the confidence to take on a larger-scale transitional housing project,” explained Adam Kwok, executive director of Sun Hung Kai Properties.

Hong Kong’s Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan commented, “Through the concerted efforts of many sectors of the society, the announced transitional housing projects, including the 8,000 flats announced earlier and the 2,000 flats announced today, have together achieved our goal of building about 10,000 transitional housing flats in the coming three years.”

Besides the United Court, SHKP further announced that it will develop transitional housing projects in Kam Tin South and Kwu Tung town centre. In total, the three projects will span close to 400,000 sq ft and provide 2,000 transitional flats in total, benefitting over 6,000 families and giving more than 20,000 people a comfortable home.