Statistics concerning Sub-Divided Units (SDUs) and Public Rental Housing

The request was partially successful.

Dear Census and Statistics Department,
I write to you in order to request further statistics regarding Sub Divided Units (SDUs) and Public Rental Housing, these informations are probably in your possession but it seems that they have not been published. I read the Thematic household Survey Report no.60 which addresses SDUs and provides very comprehensive data . Unfortunately, the newest data on SDUs seems to be from 2015.
Also, it seems that data on SDUs has not been published before 2014 by C&SD (according to this LEGCO document available at https://www.legco.gov.hk/research-public....
Hence (if I am correct), it seems that the only data available to the public ranges over a period of 2 years (2014-2015), making it very difficult to establish trends regarding the evolution of SDUs and the subsequent tackling of the issue, notably through increased access for SDUs inhabitants who apply for Public Rental Housing.

I would thus like to request several informations that probably already are in your possession, maybe awaiting to be published in a later study, here are the informations that I request:
1) is there a survey of SDUs (and a subsequent report) currently being elaborated ?
2) How many people currently living in SDUs are waiting for Public Housing access (the last figures are from 2015 if I am not mistaken)
3) what is the average waiting time for those people ?
I duly note that statistics about the demographics of the SDU renters were provided in the 2015 report. I am also aware that the waiting time for elderly people and families is approximately 3 years, compared to 5.3 years for general PRH applications (according to this government document https://www.housingauthority.gov.hk/en/a...
Yet, no statistic seems to provide the information that I request, namely the average waiting time for SDU renters that request PRH access (about 50% of all SDU renters according to the Thematic Household Survey Report no.60)
4) Considering that rents of privately-owned housing in Hong Kong are constantly expanding, and have increased of about 40% on average since 2015 and as Hong Kong is now the second priciest city in the world in terms of price per square meter,
I would like to request data of the evolution of SDU rents prices over the 2015-2018 period in order for this evolution to be compared with other types of housing ?
5)Is there data providing further insight as to future projections of Public Housing expansion in order for more people to be able to move out of SDUs (since about 50% of SDU renters have applied for public housing)
6) Is there any specific policy regarding SDU landlords, who often rent a fairly large number of units in order to make a living ? Is there a registry of such renters in order to ensure that basic norms and regulations are respected by such landlords who seek to maximise their benefit sometimes at the expense of their lessees ?
7) I an also requesting data concerning the smallest kind of SDUs, often called "caged homes" in which the lessees only have a bed and often less than a meter high since they are either located below an other bed or below the ceiling , what percentage of SDUs correspond to this definition ?

The following questions depend on the credible eventuality that a new survey is currently elaborated (asked in question 1))
7) what is the current number of people living in SDUs ?
8) In terms of SDU inspections that have taken place since 2015, how many have found irregularities ?
Irregularities in SDUs seemed to be a fairly important issue according to the LEGCO document mentioned earlier, this data would allow me to know if the issue had been tackled.
9) Has the average size of SDUs (5.3 sq meter per capita according to the LEGCO document i mentionned earlier) evolved since 2015 ?

Thank you in advance, I am aware that the government and the administration is committed to tackle this issue of people having to live in very difficult conditions, and this data would allow me to credibly know if the issue is gradually being resolved or if the current steady increase in housing price hinders government efforts to the point that the situation is getting worse (namely, seeing an increase of people having to move in SDUs)

Yours faithfully,
Victor Alamercery

Census and Statistics Department

Dear Mr Alamercery,

I refer to your enquiry of 21 Sep 2018.  Our reply to your questions is as
follows.

Q1
Please be informed that subsequent to the release of Thematic Household
Survey (THS) Reports Nos. 57 and 60, the latest statistics on Subdivided
Units (SDUs) are available in the 2016 Population By-census Thematic
Report: Persons Living in Subdivided Units
([1]https://www.bycensus2016.gov.hk/data/16B....

Q4, Q7 (current no. of people living in SDUs), Q9
According to the results of the 2016 Population By-census (16BC), there
were 209 740 persons living in SDUs in 2016.  The median monthly domestic
household rent of households living in SDUs was $4,500 and the median
floor area of accommodation was 10.0 square metres (or 107.6 square feet)
in 2016.  The median per capita floor area of accommodation of SDUs was
5.3 square meters (or 56.5 square feet) in 2016.  You may refer to the
above 16BC thematic report for more detailed statistics.

Q7 (caged homes)
In the 16BC, SDUs refer to units formed by splitting a unit of quarters
into two or more "internally connected" (i.e. the occupants can move
between rooms without going outside through a public corridor, landing or
staircase) and "externally accessible" (i.e. the occupants have direct
access to the street, a public corridor or landing without going through
someone else's quarters) units commonly for rental purposes.  "Caged
homes" generally do not satisfy the criterion of being "externally
accessible" and are not counted as SDUs.  You may refer to Chapter 3 of
the 16BC thematic report for the definition of SDUs.  The Census and
Statistics Department (C&SD) does not have statistics on "caged homes".

Q2, Q3
While information on whether the households living in SDUs were waiting
for Public Rental Housing was collected in the THS conducted in 2014 and
2015, the information was not collected in the 16BC.  On the other hand,
information on their waiting time was neither collected in the THS nor the
16BC.

Q6, Q8
C&SD is responsible for compiling official statistics.  The policy on SDUs
is beyond the scope of this Department.  C&SD also does not have a
registry of renters of SDUs.  In addition, C&SD does not conduct safety
inspections to identify irregularities.

Q5
Statistics on SDUs have been incorporated in the projection of the long
term housing demand under the Long Term Housing Strategy (LTHS) by the
Transport and Housing Bureau.  The annual progress reports of LTHS are
available at the following link:
[2]https://www.thb.gov.hk/eng/policy/housin....

Should you have any questions about this matter, please feel free to
contact Census Planning Section (1) of this department (Enquiry service:
(852) 3903 6960; Facsimile: (852) 2716 0231; E-mail: [email address]).

With best regards,
Patrick Lam
Statistician (Statistical Information Services)1
Census and Statistics Department
Tel: (852) 2582 4731

From:        Victor Alamercery <[FOI #309 email]>
To:        FOI requests at Census and Statistics Department
<[Census and Statistics Department request email]>
Date:        21/09/2018 02:44
Subject:        Freedom of Information request - Statistics concerning
Sub-Divided Units (SDUs) and Public Rental Housing

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Census and Statistics Department,
I write to you in order to request further statistics regarding Sub
Divided Units (SDUs) and Public Rental Housing, these informations are
probably in your possession but it seems that they have not been
published. I read the Thematic household Survey Report no.60 which
addresses SDUs and provides very comprehensive data . Unfortunately, the
newest data on SDUs seems to be from 2015.
Also, it seems that data on SDUs has not been published before 2014 by
C&SD (according to this LEGCO document available at
[3]https://www.legco.gov.hk/research-public....
Hence (if I am correct), it seems that the only data available to the
public ranges over a period of 2 years (2014-2015), making it very
difficult to establish trends regarding the evolution of SDUs and the
subsequent tackling of the issue, notably through increased access for
SDUs inhabitants who apply for Public Rental Housing.

I would thus like to request several informations that probably already
are in your possession, maybe awaiting to be published in a later study,
here are the informations that I request:
1) is there a survey of SDUs (and a subsequent report) currently being
elaborated ?
2) How many people currently living in SDUs are waiting for Public Housing
access (the last figures are from 2015 if I am not mistaken)
3) what is the average waiting time for those people ?
I duly note that statistics about the demographics of the SDU renters were
provided in the 2015 report. I am also aware that the waiting time for
elderly people and families is approximately 3 years, compared to 5.3
years for general PRH applications (according to this government document
[4]https://www.housingauthority.gov.hk/en/a...
Yet, no statistic seems to provide the information that I request, namely
the average waiting time for SDU renters that request PRH access (about
50% of all SDU renters according to the Thematic Household Survey Report
no.60)
4) Considering that rents of privately-owned housing in Hong Kong are
constantly expanding, and have increased of about 40% on average since
2015 and as Hong Kong is now the second priciest city in the world in
terms of price per square meter,
I would like to request data of the evolution of SDU rents prices over the
2015-2018 period in order for this evolution to be compared with other
types of housing ?
5)Is there data providing further insight as to future projections of
Public Housing expansion in order for more people to be able to move out
of SDUs (since about 50% of SDU renters have applied for public housing)
6) Is there any specific policy regarding SDU landlords, who often rent a
fairly large number of units in order to make a living ? Is there a
registry of such renters in order to ensure that basic norms and
regulations are respected by such landlords who seek to maximise their
benefit sometimes at the expense of their lessees ?
7) I an also requesting data concerning the smallest kind of SDUs, often
called "caged homes" in which the lessees only have a bed and often less
than a meter high since they are either located below an other bed or
below the ceiling , what percentage of SDUs correspond to this definition
?

The following questions depend on the credible eventuality that a new
survey is currently elaborated (asked in question 1))
7) what is the current number of people living in SDUs ?
8) In terms of SDU inspections that have taken place since 2015, how many
have found irregularities ?
Irregularities in SDUs seemed to be a fairly important issue according to
the LEGCO document mentioned earlier, this data would allow me to know if
the issue had been tackled.
9) Has the average size of SDUs (5.3 sq meter per capita according to the
LEGCO document i mentionned earlier) evolved since 2015 ?

Thank you in advance, I am aware that the government and the
administration is committed to tackle this issue of people having to live
in very difficult conditions, and this data would allow me to credibly
know if the issue is gradually being resolved or if the current steady
increase in housing price hinders government efforts to the point that the
situation is getting worse (namely, seeing an increase of people having to
move in SDUs)

Yours faithfully,
Victor Alamercery

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References

Visible links
1. https://www.bycensus2016.gov.hk/data/16B...
2. https://www.thb.gov.hk/eng/policy/housin...
3. https://www.legco.gov.hk/research-public...
4. https://www.housingauthority.gov.hk/en/a...
5. https://accessinfo.hk/en/change_request/...
6. https://accessinfo.hk/en/help/officers