• URA to vet eligibility of applications for “Starter Homes” Pilot Project following assignment of priority numbers

    11 December 2020

    The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) today (11 December) conducted a random assignment of priority numbers (random assignment) for all the 4,909 applications for the 43 remaining “Starter Homes” units (SH) in its eResidence project.

    Officiated by URA Managing Director Ir Wai Chi-sing, the entire proceedings of the random assignment was witnessed by Mr Libra Fung of Lui & Mak Certified Public Accountants and video-taped for record. A ten-digit seed number, formed by the ten numbers drawn by Ir Wai, was input into a computer programme to randomly assign a priority number to each of the applicants.

    URA Managing Director Ir Wai Chi-sing (right) and Mr Libra Fung of Lui & Mak Certified Public Accountants (left) endorse the random assignment results.

    The arrangement of the seed number can enhance the randomness of the prioritisation calculated by the mathematical formulae of the computer programme, while allowing the accountant to verify the result to ensure its accuracy when necessary.

    The URA has uploaded the list of assigned priority numbers and the video to the eResidence’s website (www.eresidence.hk). Applicants can check their assigned priority numbers through the search function from the website by entering their application numbers. The URA will also issue letters to all applicants notifying their assigned priority numbers within three working days.

    The Hong Kong Housing Society (HKHS) has been commissioned by the URA to vet the eligibility of the applicants. The URA will issue separate letters to invite applicants, in the order of the priority numbers, to attend interviews with HKHS on specified dates starting late December. During the interview, applicants should submit to the HKHS their supporting documents such as income and asset proofs, as stated in the Application Guide, for verification and confirmation of their eligibility.

    In view of the Government’s latest measures in response to the COVID-19 epidemic situation, the URA and HKHS will adopt a series of infection control measures at the interview venue. These measures include checking of temperature for all applicants and family members, submitting health declaration before entry, wearing of masks throughout the interview, and stepping up cleansing of the venue to control the spread of the virus. Meanwhile, the number of interviewees will be limited in accordance with the Prohibition on Group Gathering Regulation for the time being in force.

    URA Managing Director Ir Wai Chi-sing draws random numbers to form seed number for random assignment programme.

    In the case applicants are confirmed patients of Coronavirus disease 2019 or under quarantine arrangement and have to be excused from the scheduled interviews, the applicants concerned should notify the Applications Processing Section of the URA’s “Starter Homes Pilot Project for Hong Kong Residents” via the hotline at 2363 2283 as soon as possible. Flexibility will be given to those applicants in the interview arrangement and submission of documents, depending on the actual situation.

    The URA plans to invite eligible applicants by batches for flat selection in January 2021. The exact dates for flat selection will be announced later by the URA in the Information on Sales Arrangements, to be uploaded to the eResidence’s website and the Sales of First-hand Residential Properties Electronic Platform (www.srpe.gov.hk) in accordance with the Residential Properties (First-hand Sales) Ordinance.

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