A. Public housing
Parties who were living in Public Rental Housing (PRH) flats prior to divorce who cannot reach an agreement as to the living arrangements in the PRH flat should approach the Housing Department (HD) for housing arrangements after the divorce proceedings have finalised. Depending on the applicant’s means and individual circumstances, the HD may grant tenancy of the parties’ existing flat to either party or allocate an additional flat to the divorcees.
In general, divorce cases seeking PRH tenancy are split into 2 categories:
- Divorce cases not involving additional PRH resources; and,
- Divorce cases involving additional PRH resources.
Divorce cases not involving additional PRH resources
The HD will usually favour the grant of the tenancy to:
- The party having custody of all children (provided that there are no other occupants entitled to the PRH flat);
- The party comprising all authorised occupants (i.e. grown up children, the party’s parents);
- The party having the legal right to live with the child continuously and permanently (in the case of joint custody of children).
The party who has not given custody of any children has to leave the PRH flat upon divorce and will need to find other accommodation. If this party has difficulties in finding other accommodation, he/she can:
- Apply for a temporary housing unit in the New Territories subject to fulfilling PRH eligibility requirements / criteria; and
- Apply for PRH as a one-person application. The applicant will be allowed to have a reduction waiting time equivalent to the length of his/her PRH tenancy, with the maximum reduction capped at 3 years.
Divorce cases involving additional PRH resources
The HD may allocate separate housing units for divorced parties who each have custody of one or more children if they satisfy the following 2 tests:
- Comprehensive means test (CMT) – household income and asset of the family members who will live together if PRH is granted does not exceed the limit for PRH applications; and
- Domestic property test (DPT) – all family members must not own any domestic property in Hong Kong.
Parties who fail the CMT and the DPT will be required to move out of the PRH flat and find their own accommodation.
Parties who only fail the CMT can still apply to live in a temporary housing unit in the New Territories for 1 year before they have to move out and find their own accommodation.