Short Term Tenancy Site Research
“Short Term Tenancy” is an arrangement where the government leases temporarily vacant government land to the private sector on a short-term basis. Most of these have become car parks, backyards of the magnates and brownfield sites. As a result, they leave no place for the general public and community groups to organize community events or use the lands for agricultural purposes.
In fact, everyone has the right to rent those sites. However, inaccessible land lease information and the complexity of the system has eliminated opportunities for the public to use such land.
In light of this, we published “Leasing for the Few: Exploring Short Term Tenancy Sites by Tycoons in Hong Kong” in 2017, which revealed that many recreational facilities (such as tennis courts and swimming pools owned by the magnates) are being built on Short Term Tenancy sites. The research has clearly demonstrated the uneven distribution of public land resources and has forced the Lands Department to make a promise to publicise more information about Short Term Tenancy sites in the future. Apart from this, we have also visited different District Lands Offices to gather information about vacant lands in Hong Kong and have created a list and a map of vacant government sites available for public lease. This caused a heated discussion and as a result of our work, such information is now included in the government GeoInfo Map.
We will continue to study the Short Term Tenancy policy and reveal the problems behind it that have been hidden for a long time, in order to allow Hong Kong people to regain the right of renting such land.
Discovered that some magnates are benefiting from low prices to rent government lands or are even occupying them without paying a single dollar to build their own backyards. This has caused a waste of over 300,000 square feet of public land resources
Revealed that the Lands Department facilitated the magnates’ transfer of Short Term Tenancy Sites, and exposed the problems of the policy
Forced the government to publicise information about Short Term Tenancy sites, which facilitates the rental of such land by community groups
Future Research Targets
Expose the flaws of the Short Term Tenancy policy, identify and investigate the current state of the Short Term Tenancy sites
Urge the government to build up a database of all the information about the Short Term Tenancy policy
Fight for a reform in the Short Term Tenancy policy, establish a discourse on the right to rent and make specific proposals
Advocate in favour of opening up the option of renting the Short Term Tenancy sites to everyone, start discussions on diversifying the uses of that land for public use