Growing public unease about asset sales by shopping centre owner Link Reit has prompted a series of site visits by members of the Legislative Council (LegCo).
The visits to shopping centres, markets and carparks of public housing estates and Home Ownership Scheme began yesterday and will continue today.
A LegCo spokesperson said the visits were arranged to “follow up on complaints put forward by deputations relating to the further sale of these facilities” by Link Reit.
In 2005, the Hong Kong Housing Authority divested 180 properties, including shopping centres, markets and carparks of public housing estates through Link. Since then a number of properties have been sold as the publicly listed property company optimised its portfolio in line with normal business practice. However, residents of some Hong Kong communities have expressed concerns about the break up of the portfolio.
“The deputations worry that further sales of these properties by Link in recent years would induce further rental increases,” said the Legco spokesperson. “They have also expressed concerns about the tenancy arrangements following Link’s further sale of the shopping centres and markets. Hence, they lodge complaints with LegCo members.”
Accompanied by representatives of the Housing Department and the Lands Department, LegCo members visited Lei Cheng UK Shopping Centre and Lai Kok Shopping Centre in Sham Shui Po, Tai Wo Hau Commercial Centre and Carpark in Tsuen Wan and Yau Oi Market in Tuen Mun yesterday. During the site visit, members took the opportunity to exchange views with the deputations and business tenants to understand more about their concerns.
The members who participated yesterday were Andrew Wan (convenor), Regina Ip, Alice Mak, Dr Kwok Ka-ki, Dr Fernando Cheung, Eddie Chu, Yung Hoi-yan, Dr Cheng Chung-tai and Au Nok-hin.