In 2003, the Housing Department launched a marking scheme which aimed to improve environmental hygiene in public housing estates in Hong Kong. Although the scheme can potentially stop anti-social behaviour and other misconduct in public housing estates, the choice of public housing tenants as the sole target of control has not been clearly explained. Therefore, this study attempts to justify this administration-driven marking scheme. It appears that welfare conditionality cannot fully justify the scheme because public housing tenants are not the only recipients of housing welfare in Hong Kong. In addition, discriminating between public housing tenants and the most deprived is not defensible. More importantly, not all the offences prescribed in the marking scheme are socially undesirable. However, the substance of the scheme seems to match the ideologies of Chinese legalism quite well, and the scheme appears to be an initiative by the Hong Kong Housing Authority to strengthen its sovereignty over public housing resources in the city.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The work described in this paper was fully supported by a grant from City University of Hong Kong (Project No. 9610143). The author would also like to thank the anonymous reviewers and Professor Ray Forrest for their insightful comments and constructive suggestions for the refinement of the paper.
- Anti-social behaviour
- Chinese legalism
- Policy opportunism
- Social housing
- Welfare conditionality