Social Impacts of the Marking Scheme in Public Housing in Hong Kong

Yung YAU*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


To improve environmental hygiene in public housing estates in Hong Kong, the Housing Department launched the Marking Scheme for Tenancy Enforcement in Public Housing Estates in 2003. The marking scheme operates as a penalty-point system where sitting tenants will be expelled from their public housing units if they receive penalty points up to a certain level for committed misdeeds. By its nature, the marking scheme is a measure to tackle neighbourhood problems or so-called antisocial behaviour (ASB) in public housing. Yet, it was implemented without comprehensive public consultation a priori. Besides, why this control selectively targets public housing tenants but not residents in other housing tenures is not justified. More importantly, no previous attempt has been made to investigate the impacts of the marking scheme. To straddle the existing research gap, this study aims to explore the social impacts brought about by the marking scheme on public housing tenants through a structured questionnaire survey. In the respondents' eyes, the effectiveness of the scheme to rectify public housing tenants' bad behaviour is doubtful. Moreover, harmony within families and neighbourliness seems to be undermined by the scheme. Recommendations are then provided to public administrators regarding ASB control in Hong Kong.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-303
Number of pages23
JournalSocial Indicators Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments The work described in this paper was fully supported by a grant from City University of Hong Kong (Project No. 9610143). The findings of the pilot study of this research were presented at the International Housing Conference in Singapore in 2010 and the author would like to thank the conference delegates for their valuable comments and suggestions for the research.


  • Antisocial behaviour
  • Environmental cleanliness
  • Public housing
  • Quality of life
  • Social impacts


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