Introduction & Background Information
After Japanese defeat in Second World War, Hong Kong was given back to British governance. Since then, population in Hong Kong had been growing rapidly, from 500-600 thousands in 1945 to nearly 4 million in 1969 (Podmore, 1972), due to several factors. First of all, the growth was mainly caused by the return of previous Hong Kong residents (Lo, 1983). Secondly, an influx of China’s refugees who were threatened by mainland civil wars between Nationalists and Communists was among the reasons as well (Podmore, 1972). The third dominant reason was a natural increase in post-war period. The large influx of immigrants who were in child-bearing age had once pushed the birth rate to 39.7a in 1956, which was nearly double the birth rate (17-23a) in developed countries (Podmore, 1972; Lo, 1983). Consequently, the inrush had caused several housing problems like housing shortage, low living standard and squatter areas. This had eventually prompted the government to view the problems seriously.
During the post-war period (1945-1981), Hong Kong government had taken two major steps to solve the problems. They were housing programmes and immigration control. However, it was argued that the plan was not successful with increasing population especially in urban areas and low housing standard throughout the course of years (Lo, 1983). Hence, this essay will explore on how the government undertook those measures. Then, it will assess on
‘To what extent housing problems were successfully solved by Hong Kong government?’
a. per 1,000 estimated mid-year population.
After disastrous squatter fires in Shek Kip Mei (1953) and Tai Hung Tung (1954), Hong Kong government directly intervened in housing industry and drastically implemented a huge public housing programme to re-settle the squatters (Hopkins, 1972; Lo, 1983; Rooney, 2003). As a result, many high-rise and high-density blocks were built on the city fringes...