From intervention to privatization : the changing public housing policy in Hong Kong

Chi Wai Yeung, F.K.W. Wong, Chi Man Hui

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic research


There has always been debates among academics and politicians on the role the government should play in the provision of housing. The conventional welfare economy paradigm has brought along an expansion of public sector housing in most countries since the Second World War. In the past decades, the housing needs of the mass population in many countries have been met by huge government expenditure on public housing development. By the late 1970s, a global privatisation of the housing trend characterized by a shift of responsibility for housing provision from the state to the market has been evident. Such a trend is largely a response to the need to reduce national financial burdens. It is believed that privatization can induce competition so as to maximise consumer benefits, enhance resources allocation efficiency and improve the quality of goods and services. In Hong Kong, a massive public housing programme has been developed since the early 1950s. In 1997, more than half of the population was housed in subsidized housing. In December 1997, the Hong Kong SAR Government introduced a Tenants Purchase Scheme under which existing public rental housing tenants were given the right to purchase their flats at a substantial discount price. This paper discusses the global privatisation trend in government subsidized housing and examines the problems associated with privatisation initiatives with particular reference to the Tenants Purchase Scheme in Hong Kong.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-73
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Construction Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • Privatisation
  • Tenants purchase scheme
  • Public housing
  • Hong Kong

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management of Technology and Innovation
  • Strategy and Management
  • Building and Construction


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