Po Leung Kuk is set to apply for funding from the government to build a massive youth hostel in Yuen Long, Sing Tao Daily reported Friday, citing James Chan Yum-min, the charity’s chief executive.
In January, tycoon Lee Shau-kee, chairman of Henderson Land Development Co. Ltd. (00012.HK), donated a 63,000 square foot site at Ma Tin Pok for Po Leung Kuk – which provides support for children and women, education and other social services – to build Hong Kong’s biggest youth hostel.
Chan said the project, named Youth Oasis, has passed reviews by the Town Planning Board and the Yuen Long district council during the past few months and has been gazetted.
The next step is to get funding.
Chan said applications for funds are expected to be filed to the Legislative Council’s finance committee.
The funds will be used to pay construction consultants and for construction fees.
The total amount is estimated to be more than HK$1 billion (US$129 million).
Chan said it will take about six months for the funding applications to be approved.
The project — one of five that aim to help young people save money on rent before they can afford to buy a home — is scheduled for completion in two or three years, he said.
A progress report on the project will be submitted to Legco’s home affairs panel next week, Chan said.
The plan is for the youth hostel to supply 1,248 rooms with a total of 1,680 beds.
There will be 816 single rooms, at a projected monthly rent of HK$2,000, and 432 double rooms, at HK$3,000, based on market rates.
Chan said the low rents were requested by Lee, whom he quoted as saying he wanted to do more to help young people.
Qualified young people aged between 18 and 30 will be able to rent for as long as five years; the contracts will need to be renewed once every two years.
Foreseeing that the hostel will attract many applicants once it is completed, Chan said it has yet to be decided whether the allotment of units will be based on a draw or on a first come, first served basis.
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