New World's land donation in Tin Shui Wai to be turned into 100-home 'Light Village' by social-housing group

By Sandy Li sandy.li@scmp.com / https://www.scmp.com/business/article/3033040/it-takes-village-advocacy-group-kick-start-social-housing-project-new?utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=contentexchange&utm_source=EdgeProp | October 21, 2019 9:32 AM SGT
The man on the receiving end of Hong Kong's biggest corporate bequeath is planning to build a village in a north-western corner of the city's New Territories, across the Shenzhen Bay from southern China's technology megapolis.
There, 100 homes, each measuring about 300 sq ft (28 square metres), will be ready for occupation by 2022 near the Tin Shui Wai subway station on farmland donated by New World Development. Named the Light Village, the housing community will be reserved for low-income families with children, said Ricky Yu, whose social-housing organisation Light Be is heading the project.
New World's September 25 giveaway involved 3 million sq ft of farmland, a third of which will go to Yu's nine-year-old organisation. The Light Village, occupying 28,000 sq ft of land for a token HK$1, will be the first project of its kind, a corporate social responsibility showcase and a stab at tackling one of the most pressing social ills that underpins four months of the city's worst political crisis.
"Fathers, as the sole breadwinners for these low-income families, are often leaving their children in poverty," Yu said in an interview with South China Morning Post. "Typically, one parent goes out to work while the other " usually the mother " stays at home to look after the children."
A drone's view of land near Tsui Sing Road and the Tin Shui Wai subway station donated by New World Development for the construction of social housing, as of 28 September 2019. The Tin Yu housing estate stands in the background. Photo: May Tse alt=A drone's view of land near Tsui Sing Road and the Tin Shui Wai subway station donated by New World Development for the construction of social housing, as of 28 September 2019. The Tin Yu housing estate stands in the background. Photo: May Tse
The project will help the lower end of Hong Kong's so-called sandwich class, whose monthly income exceeds the threshold for public housing, but falls short of qualifying for subsidies under the Home Ownership Scheme (HOS). Qualifying families will be referred by social workers, instead of applying directly. The monthly income threshold for a family of four to apply for public rental housing is HK$29,240.
New World's donation spurred other landowners into action. Henderson Land said a day...