Positive response with over 20,800 applications received for URA’s “Starter Homes” Pilot Project
The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) has received more than 20,800 applications for its “Starter Homes” (SH) Pilot Project, named “eResidence” and comprising a total of 450 SH units, when the submission of application closed at 7pm on 23 January 2019. About 90% of the applications were submitted online.
Since the commencement of applications for the SH project on 3 January 2019, more than 14,000 visitors viewed the show flat, while the enquiry service hotline centre received over 4,200 enquiries, among which 67% was about the eligibility criteria.
64% of the applications are single-person applicants and 36% are family applicants with majority having a household size of two. Applications from two-member families accounted for 23% of the total number of applications. Regarding the age profile, 86% of all applicants were aged 18-38, while family applicants of this age group amounted to 28% of all applicants.
The Hong Kong Housing Society (HKHS) has been commissioned by the URA to receive applications and carry out the eligibility vetting process. After the application period ends, HKHS will conduct checking on the completeness of all application forms. Computer balloting will be conducted in March 2019 to determine the priority numbers of applicants. The URA will subsequently invite applicants, in the order of the priority numbers, to submit supporting documents such as income and asset proofs, within a specified period of time, for verification and confirmation of their eligibility. The URA will then invite eligible applicants in batches for flat selection which is planned for June 2019 onwards.
The exact dates of flat selection will be announced by the URA in the Sales Arrangements later. The Sales Arrangement for the SH units will be uploaded to the eResidence’s website (www.eresidence.hk) and the Sales of First-hand Residential Properties Electronic Platform (www.srpe.gov.hk) in accordance with the Residential Properties (First-hand Sales) Ordinance.
Occupying a site of about 29,000 square feet, eResidence consists of two residential buildings adopting modest and environmentally sustainable building design. It has also incorporated smart designs, smart information and smart management and advocates co-living facilities with an aim to enhance the quality of living for residents. With saleable area ranging from 261 to 507 square feet, the 450 SH units comprise 114 studio, 254 one-bedroom and 82 two-bedroom units. Superstructure works are progressing and the flats are expected to be ready for occupation in mid-2020.