C.Y. Leung Addresses Poor HK Living Conditions
Created: 2013-01-16 12:54 EST
In a speech on Wednesday (January 16) Hong Kong's controversial leader Leung Chun-ying addressed the city's poor living conditions.
Residents of the former British colony live in cramped apartments with some even living in mesh houses called "bird cages." Despite the tight spaces, property prices have doubled over the past four years, making it hard to find a decent place to live.
Outside the government headquarters around 200 people protested. They ‘re demanding reforms to a range of social issues—like affordable housing.
[Ramon Yuen, Demonstrator]:
"But actually we have some informal survey, actually more than 50,000 people live in such poor conditions. So increasing the land supply is really important, really urgent issue for Hong Kong right now."
Although Leung was not voted in by the people, his most supportive constituents are lower and middle class citizens. In an effort to boost his popularity, Leung promised to increase land supply, fight pollution, and boost welfare.
Leung says 75 thousand subsidized public housing units would be built over the next five years. 100 thousand more in the next five years. Even underground housing is being considered.
But, these plans stretch beyond Leung's tenure. He’s term will end in four and a half years. It will be up to future officials to see these projects through, assuming they get support to start in the first place.
Leung Chun-ying’s announcements came amidst attempts to save his flailing reputation. He’s been accused of acting under the thumb of Chinese leaders. A failure to disclose illegal additions to his home last year has also sent his popularity plunging.
Now many speculate that he is trying to fix his reputation and build up some favor with Hong Kong citizens.