Hong Kong's Henderson will lend abandoned land to the government for housing

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong real estate developer Henderson Land Development said Saturday that it will lend 428,000 square feet of abandoned land in the suburbs of the city to the government for seven years to build 2,000 transitional housing units.

The move comes after the governments of Hong Kong and China asked developers to contribute back to the community, in an attempt to address housing shortages in Hong Kong, where millions of anti-government protesters have taken to the streets during months

The 428,000 square feet of land to be lent in the New Territories of Hong Kong represent 1% of the total farmland owned by Henderson, which was estimated at 45 million square feet at the end of last year, the largest amount between Hong Kong developers, according to a report published by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. But some researchers said the actual amount of land owned could be greater.

The government said separately that it plans to pay HK $ 1 as rent to Henderson Land, according to local media.

Another major real estate developer, New World Development Co Ltd, said in September that it would donate 3 million square feet of its agricultural land reserves for social housing, while the city's richest man, Li Ka-shing, said a week later which would donate HK $ 1 billion ($ 128 million) to support small and medium-sized local businesses.

In one of the boldest housing policies in recent years, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam promised in her policy speech in mid-October to recover 700 hectares of land in the New Territories of developers for public use under It is known as a resumption of the earth. ordinance.

The government also said its goal was to provide 10,000 transitional housing units in the next three years.

(Report by Clare Jim; Muralikumar Anantharaman Edition)