‘End housing bias against gay couples’

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04/19/2021

Housing Authority should amend Home Ownership Scheme rules to rectify discrimination against gay couples, the high court heard yesterday. But the Housing Authority told high court judge Anderson Chow Ka-ming that changing the rules would significantly increase the number of HOS applications. The applicant, Edgar Ng Hon-lam, married his Henry Li Yik-ho in the United Kingdom in 2017 and bought a second-hand HOS flat in 2018. But the authority said only heterosexual marriage partners are considered “family members,” and the couple must pay a land premium if they want to add Li as an occupant of the unit. Ng then filed a judicial review to challenge the policy, saying it runs against human rights laws and the Basic Law. However, Ng died after committing suicide last year and his partner is continuing the legal battle in his place. Senior counsel Pao Jin-long, who represents the couple, said the current Housing Authority policy discriminates against same-sex couples. The authority also does not have evidence that proves the number of housing applications would significantly increase if it changes its policy.

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