Government aims to use idle plots for public housing

Chief Executive, Mr Chui Sai On, meets the press.

The Chief Executive, Mr Chui Sai On, said the Government aimed to use undeveloped land – plots previously classified as “idle” – to build public housing. The proposal is subject to reversion of such land to the Government. The Chief Executive said the Government was not yet in a position to announce further details of its plans due to ongoing legal proceedings concerning those holders of Government land concessions that had failed to develop such plots according to the timetable and terms stated in the agreements. Mr Chui made his remarks on the sidelines of a reception hosted by the Macao Media Workers’ Association on 19 October. When asked by reporters about a recent protest related to local housing by some members of public, the Chief Executive said he understood Macao residents’ demands on housing, adding the Government would continue pushing forward measures already outlined in its Policy Address for the Fiscal Year 2015. The Government is determined to identify fresh sources of land for building public housing, as a way to fulfil Macao residents’ housing needs, he said. The Government plans to build 28,000 housing units in ‘Area A’, a part of Macau peninsula recently reclaimed by landfill. The pledge is in line with Mr Chui’s manifesto commitment made when he sought election in August 2014 for a second term as Chief Executive. He added that the Government would review the rules relevant to its home ownership scheme for Macao residents. It would also give consideration to revisions in the method of sorting applications for public housing and for drawing lots among applicants, as suggested by some opinions from the public. When asked by reporters, Mr Chui said he believed the recent application round for the home ownership scheme would not be the last such event during his tenure, which ends in 2019. The Chief Executive stated that maintaining an active two-way communication with Macao residents from all walks of life was a core task of his administration team; one that would be actively pursued by his five policy secretaries. Reporters also asked Mr Chui for comment regarding the case of a Macao resident detained in the United States. Mr Chui said he noted the relevant news reports but had no comment on the issue in view of the ongoing legal proceedings. During the reception on 19 October, to celebrate National Day and to present service awards to members of the Macao Media Workers’ Association, Mr Chui also said the Government respected the freedom of the media and of publication, and would continue supporting the sector. He said the Government aims to strengthen relations between the administration, the media and Macao residents in order to enhance the distribution of information. In his speech, the Chief Executive spoke highly of the media sector for its contributions to the successful implementation of the Central Government’s “One country, two systems” policy and for the media’s efforts in serving the people. He urged the sector – together with the people of Macao – to study in depth the Basic Law of Macao, as a way to intensify the implementation of “One country, two systems”, and to maintain the long-term stability and sustainability of Macao, thus contributing to the country’s development.

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