The Small Housing Policy (SHP) is was introduced in 1972 with the intention of preserving the character of indigenous villages by allowing every adult male heir descended from residents of long-recognised villages to apply for government land to build a three-storey house. The policy has been hotly debated as indigenous villagers can claim, then sell, their land grants for profit. There is also extensive gender discrimination in the existing policy.
“Small Houses, Big Effects: Public Opinion Survey on the Small House Policy” by Michael DeGolyer, Mandy Lao Man-lei and Carine Lai examines hard data on the attitudes of people directly impacted by the SHP and the general population toward the SHP in the New Territories. It also puts forward considerations for stakeholders on how best to approach this sensitive topic and engage in an inclusive community dialogue on the way forward.