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Transitional Housing


Transitional housing is a social innovation that fosters a paradigm shift in the global development of short-term affordable housing. Breaking the dichotomy between public and private housing, transitional housing provides not only physical accommodation, but also offers social support to tenants. In Hong Kong, while the local government may facilitate the establishment of transitional housing, it is the NGOs who take up multiple roles as builder, operator, and service provider. As such, transitional housing from its conceptualisation and implementation to its operation requires far more vigorous trans-sector and trans-professional collaboration.

JCDISI is a committed player to the study of transitional housing in Hong Kong. In early 2021, a $3.15mil funding was awarded to JCDISI under the Strategic Public Policy Research (SPPR) Funding Scheme, operated by the Policy Innovation and Co-ordination Office (PICO) of the Hong Kong SAR Government. The Scheme aims to support longer-term public policy research on strategic themes and facilitate collaboration among institutions and think tanks. In line with these aims, this study led by JCDISI will be conducted through extensive cross-departmental and cross-institutional effort, with contribution by leading experts from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, The University of Hong Kong, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Construction Industry Council, leading architecture firms and builders.

mic co-living

In order to enhance Hong Kong’s capacity to deliver transitional housing, the first part of our study is a comprehensive investigation which, drawing on overseas and local cases, examines aspects including design and construction, government involvement, project operation, and tenant experience. This study will allow us to make recommendations on regulatory, approval, and operation policies, as well as produce a Best Practice Guide and Development Manual to cover technical issues in all stages of the development and operation process.

The crux of success under this new paradigm is mutual understanding and trust, efficient communication and effective collaboration. Aiming to forge a solid partnership between all related sectors and professions including NGOs, government, angel landlords, related development professionals and contractors, the second part of our study will focus on examining their interplay, contribution, pain points, conflicts and issues. This will be carried out against various transitional housing forms, including remodelling existing flats, converting school and other government buildings, and constructing new relocatable blocks in public or private land of short tenure. Measures to facilitate a wider application of Modular Integrated Construction (MiC) technology will be a special focus to enhance the cost-effectiveness and design flexibility of projects.


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