Sun Hung Kai Properties says to lend farmland for transitional housing

HONG KONG, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Hong Kong’s Sun Hung Kai Properties announced on Friday a plan to lease 300,000 square feet of land for HK$1 ($0.13) for housing, responding to government appeals for help to fix a housing crunch that has fuelled protests.

The Hong Kong and Chinese governments have asked developers to help address Hong Kong’s housing shortage that has forced prices up to among the world’s highest and frustrated generations of young people who can only dream of getting on the property ladder.

Officials say the frustration has contributed to months of anti-government protests and promised to address it.

Major property developers including New World Development , Henderson Land Development and Wheelock and Co Ltd have donated land for social and what the government calls transitional, or temporary, housing.

Sun Hung Kai Properties, the city’s largest developer by value, said on Friday its 300,000 square foot project in rural Yuen Long is expected to provide 1,600 transitional housing units by early 2022. The lease will be for at least eight years.

It plans to lend two more smaller pieces of farmland. Together, all three plots would allow for the construction of 2,000 units.

Hong Kong aims to providing 10,000 transitional housing units in the next three years. ($1 = 7.7667 Hong Kong dollars) (Reporting by Clare Jim Editing by Robert Birsel)