Small House Policy Research
“The Ding House Policy has run its course.”
– Overheard 3
The original objective of the Small House Policy, also known as Ding House policy, was to improve the living conditions of the indigenous inhabitants of the New Territories in Hong Kong. However, trading of small house concessionary rights, led by property developers and the gentry, has emerged since the 1970s. Small house concessionary rights have become a “privilege” in the eyes of the public. he Small House Policy has been abused and the government has shown no intention of conducting a comprehensive review and banning the practice of trading small house concessionary rights. Additionally, the public has not been able to grasp the fact that the policy has been abused. This has caused a lack of focus on the discussion of Small House Policy reform.
Because of this, we have created a database of suspected cases involving the trading of small house concessionary rights. We discovered that there are over 10,000 small houses that have been built illegally using concessionary rights from trading. This clearly demonstrates the impact of the abuse of Small House Policy on land development of Hong Kong. We have also closely monitored the changes in the Small House Policy, as well as problems such as expanding Village Environs, building small houses in other villages, and redrawing village boundaries. We criticized the rural forces for proposing an increase in the density of small houses during the land debate.
As the discussion of the Small House Policy concerns the traditional rights and interests of the indigenous inhabitants of the New Territories, the interpretation and historical discourse of the Small House Policy has been dominated by Heung Yee Kuk for many years. Public discussion on the Small House Policy reform thus remains stagnant. At the end of 2018, a judicial review concering small house concessionary rights is going to be heard. If there is a significant change in the Small House Policy and the government no longer closes any discussion on reforming the policy, the public should be prepared for the “post-small house policy era” and envision future planning of the rural areas.
Revealed that nearly 10,000 small houses in Hong Kong are suspected to have been built illegally using concessionary rights from trading
Created a database on suspected cases of trading of small house concessionary rights to show the severity of the problem
Reviewed the origin and changes of the Small House Policy and pointed out flaws in the arguments about concessionary rights promoted by the gentry
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Future Research Targets
Update our database on suspected cases involving trading of small house concessionary rights, continue to track any new cases in all 642 villages in the New Territories in order to allow the public and the government to monitor the situation. Urge the government to take action to stop the trading of small house concessionary rights
Analyse the original objective of the Small House Policy and its changes through the years by collecting and reading declassified files; lay a foundation for discussing reform of the Small House Policy after the judicial review case
Collect literature and discuss the changes in land policies and legal systems before and after the British Hong Kong Government took over the New Territories, and analyse the legitimacy of small house concessionary rights as a traditional right
Promote a “post-small house policy” vision: provide a knowledge base for the public to discuss future positioning of rural planning in the New Territories once the Small House Policy is abolished