The Hong Kong Government’s Strategy for Promoting Home Ownership — An Approach to Reducing the Decommodifying Effects of Public Housing Services


The Hong Kong Government is a well‐known believer in laissez faire values and capitalism. However, it provides massive public housing programmes. In order to reduce the adverse effects of the public housing programmes on capitalism, it has tried to promote the recommodification of public housing by encouraging and assisting public housing tenants to become home owners. The aim of this paper is to study the Hong Kong Government’s measures for promoting home ownership. It is argued that these measures are not very effective in reducing the decommodifying effects of the public housing services. Despite the fact that these measures aim to reduce people’s dependence on the government and to help them to re‐establish their relation with the private market, they are paradoxically also a kind of decommodification — people can enjoy some benefits independently of how they perform in the private market. Hence, it can be said that the government’s measures for promoting home ownership serve more to change the form than to reduce the degree of the decommodification of the public housing services.