Third World Planning Review

Excluding the disadvantaged

Housing inequalities in Hong Kong

Third World Planning Review (2001), 23, (1), 79–96.

Abstract

As the governments of most developed countries do, the Hong Kong government recommodifies public housing, claiming that the policy more effectively and efficiently meets people's housing needs. The claim has been largely unchallenged. This paper argues that the policy does not benefit everyone and that the interests of many disadvantaged groups, such as the elderly, lone-parent families, women and new immigrants, are sacrificed. Much of the exclusion and deprivation is camouflaged by so-called cultural values and common practice, such as familialism and Confucianism. This paper shows that housing policy, interweaving with dominant cultural values, social discourse and social practice, is depriving many disadvantaged groups of the housing resources they badly need.

Access Token
£25.00
READ THIS ARTICLE
If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

ATKINSON, R. (2000), ‘Narrative of policy: the construction of urban problems and urban policy in the official discourse of British government 1968-1998’, Critical Social Policy, 20, 211-32. ‘Narrative of policy: the construction of urban problems and urban policy in the official discourse of British government 1968-1998’ Critical Social Policy 20 211 32 Google Scholar

BERESFORD, P. and WILSON, A. (1998), ‘Social exclusion and social work: challenging the contradictions of exclusive debate’ in M. Barry and C. Hallett (eds), Social Exclusion and Social Work: Issues of Theory, Policy and Practice, Lyme Regis, Russell House, ch. 8. Social Exclusion and Social Work: Issues of Theory, Policy and Practice Google Scholar

BLANC, M. (1998), ‘Social integration and exclusion in France: some introductory remarks from a social transaction perspective’, Housing Studies, 13, 781-92. ‘Social integration and exclusion in France: some introductory remarks from a social transaction perspective’ Housing Studies 13 781 92 Google Scholar

BRINK, S. and INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION ON AGEING (1998), Housing Older People: An International Perspective, New Brunswick, NJ, Transaction Publishers. Housing Older People: An International Perspective Google Scholar

BYRNE, D. (1997), ‘Social exclusion and capitalism: the reserve army across time and space’, Critical Social Policy, 17, 27-51. ‘Social exclusion and capitalism: the reserve army across time and space’ Critical Social Policy 17 27 51 Google Scholar

BYRNE, D. (1999), Social Exclusion, Buckingham, Open University Press. Social Exclusion Google Scholar

CHAN, K. W. (1995), ‘Solving women's housing problems or constructing gender inequality’, Hong Kong Journal of Social Work, 29, 18-26. ‘Solving women's housing problems or constructing gender inequality’ Hong Kong Journal of Social Work 29 18 26 Google Scholar

CHAN, K. W. (1997), Social Construction of Gender Inequality in the Housing System: Housing Experience of Women in Hong Kong, Aldershot, Ashgate. Social Construction of Gender Inequality in the Housing System: Housing Experience of Women in Hong Kong Google Scholar

CHAN, K. W. (2000), ‘Prosperity or inequality: deconstructing the myth of home-ownership in Hong Kong’, Housing Studies, 15, 29-44. ‘Prosperity or inequality: deconstructing the myth of home-ownership in Hong Kong’ Housing Studies 15 29 44 Google Scholar

CHAN, K. W. and LEE, J. (1999), Autonomy or Dependence: Housing the Elderly in Hong Kong, Occasional Paper Series no. 9, Hong Kong, Department of Social Studies, Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Autonomy or Dependence: Housing the Elderly in Hong Kong Google Scholar

CHAN, K. W., WOO, M. L., YU, W. K. and LI, C. F. (eds) (1997), Urban and Housing in Hong Kong: An Introduction to Urban Sociology, Hong Kong, Joint Publishing (Hong Kong) (in Chinese). Urban and Housing in Hong Kong: An Introduction to Urban Sociology Google Scholar

CHI, I. and CHOW, N. (1998), ‘Housing and family care for the elderly in Hong Kong’ in S. Brink (ed.), Housing Older People: An International Perspective, New Brunswick, NJ, Transaction Publishers, ch. 4. Housing Older People: An International Perspective Google Scholar

CHOW, N. and CHI, I. (1990), ‘A study of the living arrangements of the elderly in Hong Kong’, Hong Kong Journal of Gerontology, 4, 11-18. ‘A study of the living arrangements of the elderly in Hong Kong’ Hong Kong Journal of Gerontology 4 11 18 Google Scholar

CHUNG, K. W. and CHAN, Y. C. (1999), ‘How serious is elderly abuse in Hong Kong?’, Policy Watch, 3, 17-20, Hong Kong, Centre for Social Policy Studies, Hong Kong Polytechnic University (in Chinese). ‘How serious is elderly abuse in Hong Kong?’ Policy Watch 3 17 20 Google Scholar

CLAPHAM, D., MEANS, R. and MUNRO, M. (1993), ‘Housing, the life course and older people’ in S. Arber, M. Evandrou and British Society of Gerontology (eds), Aging, Independence, and the Life Course, London, Jessica Kings-ley and British Society of Gerontology, ch. 9. Aging, Independence, and the Life Course Google Scholar

DEAN, H. and TAYLOR-GOOBY, P. (1992), Dependency Culture, New York, Harvester Wheatsheaf. Dependency Culture Google Scholar

FAINSTEIN, S. S., GORDON, I. and HARLOE, M. (eds) (1992), Divided Cities, Oxford, Blackwell. Divided Cities Google Scholar

FORREST, R. and MURIE, A. (1988), Selling the Welfare State: The Privatisation of Public Housing, London, Routledge. Selling the Welfare State: The Privatisation of Public Housing Google Scholar

FORREST, R. and MURIE, A. (eds) (1995), Housing and Family Wealth: Comparative International Perspective, London, Routledge. Housing and Family Wealth: Comparative International Perspective Google Scholar

GILROY, R. and WOODS, R. (eds) (1994), Housing Women, London, Routledge. Housing Women Google Scholar

GINSBURG, N. (1992), ‘Racism and housing: concepts and reality’ in P. Braham, A. Rattans and R. Skellington (eds), Racism and Anti-racism, London, Sage. Racism and Anti-racism Google Scholar

GOLDING, P. (1986), Excluding the Poor, London, Child Poverty Action Group. Excluding the Poor Google Scholar

GOVERNMENT OF HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION (1998), Homes for Hong Kong People into the 21st Century: A White Paper on Long Term Housing Strategy in Hong Kong, Hong Kong, HK Government Printing Department. Google Scholar

GOVERNMENT OF HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION (1999), Report of the Elderly Commission 1997-1999, Hong Kong, HK Government Printing Department. Google Scholar

GOVERNMENT OF HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION (2000), Hong Kong, Hong Kong Government Information Centre http://www.info.gov.hk/hb/chart1.gif Google Scholar

GURNEY, C. M. (1999), ‘Pride and prejudice: discourses of normalisation in public and private accounts of home-ownership’, Housing Studies, 14, 163-83. ‘Pride and prejudice: discourses of normalisation in public and private accounts of home-ownership’ Housing Studies 14 163 83 Google Scholar

HALL, S., CRITCHER, C., JEFFERSON, T., CLARKE, J. and ROBERTS, B. (1978), Policing the Crisis: Mugging, the State and Law and Order, London, Macmillan. Policing the Crisis: Mugging, the State and Law and Order Google Scholar

HARRISON, M. (1998), ‘Theorising exclusion and difference: specificity, structure and minority ethnic housing issues’, Housing Studies, 13, 793-806. ‘Theorising exclusion and difference: specificity, structure and minority ethnic housing issues’ Housing Studies 13 793 806 Google Scholar

HENDERSON, J. and KARN, V. (1987), Race, Class and State Housing, Aldershot, Gower. Race, Class and State Housing Google Scholar

HEUMANN, L. and BOLDY, D. (eds) (1993), Ageing in Place with Dignity: International Solutions Relating to the Low-income and Frail Elderly, Praeger. Ageing in Place with Dignity: International Solutions Relating to the Low-income and Frail Elderly Google Scholar

HONG KONG CENSUS and STATISTICS DEPARTMENT (1998), Quarterly Report on General Household Survey: April to June 1998, Hong Kong, Government Printer. Google Scholar

HONG KONG GOVERNMENT (1987), Long Term Housing Strategy: A Policy Statement, Hong Kong, Government Printer. Google Scholar

HONG KONG GOVERNMENT (1994), Report of the Working Group on Care for the Elderly, Hong Kong, Government Printer. Google Scholar

HONG KONG HOUSING AUTHORITY (1999), Hong Kong Housing Authority Annual Report 1998/99, Hong Kong, Hong Kong Housing Authority. Google Scholar

HONG KONG RATING AND VALUATION DEPARTMENT (1993), Hong Kong Property Review 1993, Hong Kong, Government Printer. Google Scholar

HONG KONG RATING AND VALUATION DEPARTMENT (1999), Hong Kong Property Review 1999, Hong Kong, Government Printer. Google Scholar

HONG KONG SOCIAL WELFARE DEPARTMENT (1983), Study of the Elderly in Group Housing and Bedspace Apartments, Hong Kong, Social Welfare Department. Google Scholar

INTERNATIONAL SOCIAL SERVICE (1997), A Study on the Chinese New Immigrants in Hong Kong, Hong Kong, International Social Service, Hong Kong Branch, March. Google Scholar

JORDAN, B. (1996), A Theory of Poverty and Social Exclusion, Cambridge, Polity Press. A Theory of Poverty and Social Exclusion Google Scholar

KATZ, M. B. (1993), The ‘Underclass’ Debate: View from History, Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press. The ‘Underclass’ Debate: View from History Google Scholar

KOEBEL, C. T. and MURRAY, M. S. (1999), ‘Extended families and their housing in the US’, Housing Studies, 14, 125-43. ‘Extended families and their housing in the US’ Housing Studies 14 125 43 Google Scholar

La GRANGE, A. (1998), ‘Privatising public housing in Hong Kong: its impacts on equity’, Housing Studies, 13, 507-25. ‘Privatising public housing in Hong Kong: its impacts on equity’ Housing Studies 13 507 25 Google Scholar

LAU, S. K. (1981), ‘Utilitarianistic familism: the basis of political stability’ in A. Y. C. King and R. Lee (eds), Social Life and Development in Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Chinese University Press, 195-216. Social Life and Development in Hong Kong 195 216 Google Scholar

LAW, I. (1996), ‘Racial inequality and housing: meanings and interventions’ in I. Law (ed.), Racism, Ethnicity and Social Policy, London, Prentice-Hall, Harvester Wheatsheaf, ch. 3. Racism, Ethnicity and Social Policy Google Scholar

LEUNG, L. C. and CHAN, K. W. (1998), ‘The new Opium War: welfare dependency of lone mothers in Hong Kong’, Hong Kong Journal of Social Work, 32, 117-29. ‘The new Opium War: welfare dependency of lone mothers in Hong Kong’ Hong Kong Journal of Social Work 32 117 29 Google Scholar

LEVITAS, R. (1996), ‘The concept of social exclusion and the new Durkheimian hegemony’, Critical Social Policy, 16, 5-20. ‘The concept of social exclusion and the new Durkheimian hegemony’ Critical Social Policy 16 5 20 Google Scholar

LEVITAS, R. (1998), The Inclusive Society? Social Exclusion and New Labour, Basingstoke, Macmillan. The Inclusive Society? Social Exclusion and New Labour Google Scholar

LISTER, R. (1990), The Exclusive Society: Citizenship and the Poor, London, Child Poverty Action Group. The Exclusive Society: Citizenship and the Poor Google Scholar

LO, E. (1998), Housing and the Elderly in Hong Kong, Hong Kong, University of Hong Kong, Department of Social Work and Social Administration. Housing and the Elderly in Hong Kong Google Scholar

LUND, B. (1996), ‘Inequality and housing’ in B. Lund, Housing Problems and Housing Policy, London, Longman, ch. 8. Housing Problems and Housing Policy Google Scholar

MALPASS, P. (1990), Reshaping Housing Policy: Subsidies, Rents and Residualisation, London, Routledge. Reshaping Housing Policy: Subsidies, Rents and Residualisation Google Scholar

MARSH, A. and MULLINS, D. (1998), ‘The social exclusion perspective and housing studies: origins, applications and limitations’, Housing Studies, 13, 749-59. ‘The social exclusion perspective and housing studies: origins, applications and limitations’ Housing Studies 13 749 59 Google Scholar

MARSHALL, T. H. (1950), Citizenship and Social Class, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Citizenship and Social Class Google Scholar

MORRIS, J. and WINN, M. (1990), Housing and Social Inequality, London, Hilary Shipman. Housing and Social Inequality Google Scholar

MURRAY, C. (1990), The Emerging British Underclass, London, Institute of Economic Affairs. The Emerging British Underclass Google Scholar

PACIONE, M. (ed.) (1997), Britain's Cities: Geographies of Division in Urban Britain, London, Routledge. Britain's Cities: Geographies of Division in Urban Britain Google Scholar

PHILIPS, D. R. and YEH, A. G. O. (eds) (1999), Environment and Ageing: Environmental Policy, Planning and Design for Elderly People in Hong Kong, Hong Kong, University of Hong Kong, Centre of Urban Planning and Environment Management. Environment and Ageing: Environmental Policy, Planning and Design for Elderly People in Hong Kong Google Scholar

SILVER, H. (1994), ‘Social exclusion and social solidarity—three paradigms’, International Labour Review, 133, 531-78. ‘Social exclusion and social solidarity—three paradigms’ International Labour Review 133 531 78 Google Scholar

SIU, Y. M. (1999), ‘New arrivals: a new problem and an old problem’ in C. H. Chow and Y. K. Fan (eds), The Other Hong Kong Report 1998, Hong Kong, Chinese University Press, ch. 11. The Other Hong Kong Report 1998 Google Scholar

SMITH, Y. (1997), ‘The household, women's employment and social exclusion’, Urban Studies, 34, 1159-77. ‘The household, women's employment and social exclusion’ Urban Studies 34 1159 77 Google Scholar

SOLOMON, J. and BACK, L. (1996), Racism and Society, London, St Martin's Press. Racism and Society Google Scholar

SOMERVILLE, P. (1998), ‘Explanations of social exclusion: where does housing fit in?’, Housing Studies, 13, 761-80. ‘Explanations of social exclusion: where does housing fit in?’ Housing Studies 13 761 80 Google Scholar

SPICKER, P. (1998), Housing and Social Exclusion, Edinburgh, Shelter. Housing and Social Exclusion Google Scholar

SPIERS, F. E. (ed.) (1999), Housing and Social Exclusion, London, Jessica Kingsley. Housing and Social Exclusion Google Scholar

TOWNSEND, P. (1979), Poverty in the United Kingdom, Harmondsworth, Penguin. Poverty in the United Kingdom Google Scholar

TUNG, C. H. (1997), Address by the Chief Executive 1997, Hong Kong, Printing Department of the HKSAR. Address by the Chief Executive 1997 Google Scholar

TUNG, C. H. (1999), Address by the Chief Executive 1999, Hong Kong, Printing Department of the HKSAR. Address by the Chief Executive 1999 Google Scholar

TUNG, C. H. (2000), Serving the Community, Sharing Common Goals: Address by the Chief Executive 2000, Hong Kong, Printing Department of the HKSAR. Serving the Community, Sharing Common Goals: Address by the Chief Executive 2000 Google Scholar

WALKER, A. and WALKER, C. (eds) (1997), Britain Divided: The Growth of Social Exclusion in the 1980s and 1990s, London, Child Poverty Action Group. Britain Divided: The Growth of Social Exclusion in the 1980s and 1990s Google Scholar

WATSON, S. (1988), Accommodating Inequality: Gender and Housing, Sydney, Allen & Unwin. Accommodating Inequality: Gender and Housing Google Scholar

YU, S. W. K. (1997a), ‘The Hong Kong government's strategy for promoting home-ownership: an approach to reducing the decommodifying effect of public housing services’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 21, 537-53. ‘The Hong Kong government's strategy for promoting home-ownership: an approach to reducing the decommodifying effect of public housing services’ International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 21 537 53 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Details

Author details

Wah, Chan