|New World Development donates 3m square meters of agri land|
Property giant New World Development has announced a decision to donate 3 million square feet of agricultural land to try and ease the land shortage problem, RTHK reports.
Executive vice-chairman and general manager, Adrian Cheng, said the firm intends to donate the land to the government to build public housing and related facilities, as well as other NGOs or charity organisations to develop social or transitional housing.
He stressed the decision has nothing to do with recent calls to use the Land Resumption Ordinance, saying the New World simply wants to assume more social responsibility.
Mainland's state media also had targeted Hong Kong developers, blaming them for creating a housing shortage and paving way for runaway property prices.
Among the donated land, Cheng said around 28,000 square feet in Tin Shui Wai is intended to be donated to social enterprise ‘Light Be’ which runs affordable social housing project.
It also matches landlords who are willing to rent their properties at 30 to 50 percent of the market rate with low-income families and single mothers.
Cheng said they have been in talks with the social enterprise for over a year, and the company can allocate another 1 million square feet of land to 'Light Be' if necessary.
The founder and CEO of Light Be, Ricky Yu, said the land it received is to be developed into a housing project to provide 100 apartments and finished by 2022.
The announcement from New World Development came along as the group records HK$18.16 billion for its full-year profit ending June, down 22% from a year earlier.
It announced a final dividend of 37 cents per share and it attributed the drop in profit to the global economic downturn, saying it posed considerable risks and challenges to its business.
Looking ahead, the company said downward pressure on the Hong Kong economy is also expected to aggravate.
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