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Frequently Asked Questions

A. Eligibility criteria

A1.What are the eligibility criteria of the Cash Allowance Trial Scheme (CATS)?

The main eligibility criteria include the following –

  • must be Public Rental Housing (PRH) General Applicant (GA) households (meaning applicant households with two or more persons, and those under the Single Elderly Persons Priority Scheme);
  • have been waiting for PRH for more than three years; have not yet been provided with the first PRH flat offer; and the eligibility for PRH allocation must remain valid (please see Question A2 below for relevant information);
  • living in Hong Kong but not living in public housing (please see Questions A6 & A7 below for relevant information); and
  • not receiving the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA).

Please refer to the Application Guide of the Cash Allowance Trial Scheme for further details on the eligibility criteria.

A2.How will the eligibility for PRH allocation of the PRH GA households be considered as remaining valid?

In order to have its eligibility for PRH allocation remaining valid, the PRH GA household must, among others, meet the Income and Net Asset Limits; not own any domestic property in Hong Kong; meet the residence requirement; not hold a valid Green Form Certificate (GFC); have not requested for putting on hold their PRH application; and not have its PRH application being frozen/withheld.

A3.If certain member(s) of a PRH GA household own(s) a domestic property in Hong Kong, is the whole household ineligible to apply for the cash allowance?

Not eligible. The applicant household must have fulfilled the general eligibility criteria for PRH allocation, including not owning or co-owning or having an interest in any domestic property in Hong Kong. If certain member(s) of the PRH GA household own(s) a domestic property in Hong Kong, the household concerned is not eligible for PRH allocation. It is also not eligible to apply for the cash allowance.

A4.If the total income and total net asset value of a PRH GA household exceeds the specified limits for PRH application, is the whole household ineligible to apply for the cash allowance?

Not eligible. The applicant household must have fulfilled the general eligibility criteria for PRH allocation, including meeting the Income and Net Asset Limits laid down by the Hong Kong Housing Authority (HA). If the total monthly income and total net asset value of the PRH GA household exceeds the specified limits, the household concerned is not eligible for PRH allocation. It is also not eligible to apply for the cash allowance.

HA revises the Income and Net Asset Limits on a yearly basis. Relevant information can be obtained from the Housing Department (HD)’s Applications Sub-section (Applications Sub-section (PRH)) at Podium Level 2 of the Hong Kong Housing Authority Customer Service Centre, 3 Wang Tau Hom South Road, Kowloon; and is available for download from the website of the HA/HD (www.housingauthority.gov.hk).

A5.If the PRH application of a PRH GA household is being withheld/frozen, is the whole household ineligible to apply for the cash allowance?

Not eligible. The applicant household must have its eligibility for PRH allocation remaining valid. If the PRH application of the PRH GA household is being withheld/frozen, the household concerned would not be provided with a PRH flat offer. It is hence not eligible to apply for the cash allowance (please see Question A2 above for relevant information).

A6.Under CATS, who are considered as “living in public housing” and hence not eligible?

People “living in public housing” refer to the following -

  • tenants and/or authorised occupants of the PRH units provided by the HA, or those of the rental units of Groups A and B estates provided by the Hong Kong Housing Society (HKHS) (i.e. person(s) listed on the tenancy agreement of the rental units provided by the HA/HKHS); or
  • persons living in PRH units/interim housing provided by the HA as licensees; or
  • upon the expiration of HA’s Notice to Quit, the ex-tenant(s) and/or ex-authorised occupant(s) still living in PRH units provided by the HA; or
  • persons living in rental units of Groups A and B estates (excluding T-home) provided by the HKHS as licensees.

These people are not eligible under CATS.

A7.Are HKHS’ rental units under Groups A and B counted as “public housing” under CATS?

All rental units (excluding T-home) under the HKHS (be they under Group A or B) are considered as public housing under CATS. Therefore, the tenants, authorised occupants and licensees concerned are not eligible to apply for the cash allowance.

A8.Must all family members meet the eligibility criteria before the household concerned may apply for the cash allowance?

No. Within an applicant household, even if the applicant or certain family member(s) are not eligible to apply for the cash allowance because they are living in public housing, receiving CSSA, or serving a prison sentence, other family member(s) who has/have met all eligibility criteria may still apply for the cash allowance. The amount of cash allowance to be disbursed is based on the number of eligible family members.

A9.Can a PRH GA household who meets all the eligibility criteria but does not need to pay rent for the current residence apply for the cash allowance?

Yes. The cash allowance is not a “rental subsidy”. The Cash Allowance Office will not request the applicant households to provide documents such as tenancy agreements or receipts on rent payment, etc.

A10.If a PRH GA household has requested for putting on hold its PRH application, is the household concerned eligible to apply for the cash allowance?

Not eligible. While waiting for PRH allocation, PRH applicants may, for various reasons such as pending arrival of family members for family reunion, request for putting on hold their PRH application. HA would suspend their PRH application during this period. These PRH GA households are hence not eligible to apply for the cash allowance.

A11.If a PRH GA household is holding a valid GFC, will the household concerned be eligible to apply for the cash allowance?

Not eligible. The PRH GA household may, at its own will, apply for a GFC for purchase of a flat under the Subsidised Home Ownership Schemes of HA or HKHS in lieu of PRH allocation. HA would withhold the PRH allocation of the household concerned during the validity period of the GFC. As such, the PRH GA household is not eligible to apply for the cash allowance.

A12.Suppose a person had previously applied for PRH under the Quota and Points System (QPS) at the age of 55 (i.e. non-elderly one-person applicant), and has applied for the Single Elderly Persons Priority Scheme earlier this year at the age of 58. Is he/she eligible to apply for the cash allowance?

No. Although this person has been waiting for PRH for more than three years, he/she must have attained the age of 60 at the time of PRH allocation under the Single Elderly Persons Priority Scheme. As the applicant household must have its eligibility for PRH allocation remaining valid, the person concerned may only be eligible to apply for the cash allowance when reaching the age of 60.

A13.Are non-elderly one-person applicants under the QPS eligible to apply for the cash allowance?

Not eligible. HA’s target is to provide the first PRH flat offer to GAs (i.e. family and elderly one-person applicants) at around three years on average. Considering HA’s target waiting time, the Government wishes to provide cash allowance under CATS in order to alleviate the difficulties on livelihood faced by PRH GA households meeting all eligibility criteria who have been waiting for PRH for a prolonged period of time. As non-elderly one-person applicants are under the QPS and the waiting time target is not applicable, they are hence not eligible to apply for the cash allowance.

A14.Can households who have previously benefitted from various subsidised home ownership schemes apply for PRH? Can they apply for the cash allowance?

Generally speaking, ex-owners/ex-joint owners or former recipients and their spouses of various subsidised home ownership schemes are not eligible to apply for PRH. Hence, they are not eligible to apply for the cash allowance.

However, under the existing PRH application system, HD may grant special consideration to PRH applications under the following circumstances subject to the fulfilment of other PRH eligibility criteria –

  • adjudicated bankruptcy;
  • financial hardship resulting in need for CSSA;
  • adverse changes to family circumstances such as divorce, death of bread-winner, etc.;
  • a significant drop in household income resulting in difficulties in making mortgage repayment; or
  • households beset with medical and social problems but not to the extent of qualifying for compassionate rehousing.

Households who had previously benefitted from various subsidised home ownership schemes and fall under the above circumstance(s) may be allowed to register for PRH allocation with HD’s approval. If these PRH GA households meet all eligibility criteria under CATS, they may also apply for the cash allowance.

A15.Are PRH GA households living in subsidised residential care homes for the elderly (RCHEs) eligible to apply for the cash allowance?

PRH GA households who are living in subsidised RCHEs and who meet all eligibility criteria under CATS may apply for the cash allowance.

A16.If a PRH GA household has gone through the stage of detailed vetting for the PRH application, but has not yet been provided with the first PRH flat offer, is it eligible to apply for the cash allowance?

The PRH GA households may apply for the cash allowance as long as they meet all eligibility criteria under CATS.

B. Counting of waiting time

B1.How to determine “having been waiting for PRH for more than three years”?

The mechanism for determining the relative priority for PRH allocation will be adopted to determine whether a PRH GA household has been waiting for PRH for more than three years.

To put it simply, the relative priority for PRH allocation is based on the “G-number Equivalent Date”; and if there is no “G-number Equivalent Date”, the “Registration Date”.

The PRH GA household will have its “Registration Date” stated on the “blue acknowledgement card” issued by HD upon registration of its PRH application. If there is any subsequent change to its PRH application, a “G-number Equivalent Date” will be computed, which will be stated on the notification letter issued by HD to the applicant. In case of enquiry on the above information, PRH GA households may call HA’s hotline on 2712 2712.

C. Application Procedures – Notification Letter and Application Form

C1.How to obtain the Application Form for Cash Allowance (Application Form)? Can it be downloaded from the CATS’ website?

The Application Form will be sent by the Cash Allowance Office to PRH GA households who may be eligible (please see Question C5 below for the re-issuing of Application Forms.).

C2.When will the PRH GA households receive the notification letter / Application Form of CATS?

The Cash Allowance Office will issue notification letters towards the end of each month to PRH GA households who will have waited for PRH for more than three years within the following month. Those who may also meet other eligibility criteria for applying for the cash allowance will receive an Application Form at the same time.

C3.Under what circumstances will the PRH GA households receive the notification letter of CATS but not the Application Form?

The Cash Allowance Office will issue notification letters towards the end of each month to PRH GA households who will have waited for PRH for more than three years within the following month. Certain PRH GA households may only receive the notification letter but not the Application Form because of the following possible reasons –

  • the PRH applicant and all family members are living in public housing;
  • the PRH application is temporarily frozen;
  • the PRH GA household has requested to put on hold its PRH application;
  • the PRH GA household is holding a valid GFC;
  • albeit participating in the Single Elderly Persons Priority Scheme, the applicant is below the age of 60; or
  • albeit participating in the Elderly Persons Priority Scheme, the applicant and/or the family member(s) are below the age of 60.

C4.What should PRH GA households do if they do not receive the notification letters and/or the Application Form of CATS even though they have waited for PRH for more than three years?

PRH GA households may call the hotline on 3105 3333; email to enquiry@cashallowance.gov.hk; or visit the Cash Allowance Office at 5/F, 1 Kwai On Road, Kwai Chung, New Territories during office hours for enquiry.

C5.What to do if the Application Form is lost?

PRH GA households may call the hotline on 3105 3333; email to enquiry@cashallowance.gov.hk; or visit the Cash Allowance Office at 5/F, 1 Kwai On Road, Kwai Chung, New Territories during office hours to request for re-issuing the Application Form.

D. Application Procedures – Filling in the Application Form

D1.What to do if the pre-printed information (e.g. the name(s) and the PRH Application Number, etc.) on the Application Form is incorrect?

Applicants may correct the information on the Application Form and countersign next to any amendment(s) made. If required, households may call the hotline on 3105 3333; email to enquiry@cashallowance.gov.hk; or visit the Cash Allowance Office at 5/F, 1 Kwai On Road, Kwai Chung, New Territories during office hours to request for follow up.

D2.Are the family members of an applicant household required to fill in both the Hong Kong Identity Card (HKID Card) Number and the One-way Permit Number (if any)?

If the family members of the applicant household have an HKID Card, they do not have to fill in the One-way Permit Number. If they hold neither an HKID Card nor a Hong Kong Birth Certificate, they must fill in the One-way Permit Number and submit a copy of the One-way Permit.

D3.Will the start month for calculating cash allowance be affected if the signature dates filled in by the applicant and his/her family member(s) on the Application Form are not the same?

No. The start month for calculating cash allowance of each approved application is determined by the month in which the concerned applicant household meets all the eligibility criteria, or the submission month of the completed Application Form (by the postmark date if submitted by post; or by the submission date if submitted to the drop-in boxes (HD will stamp a seal on the concerned document(s) with the submission date), whichever is later, with 1 July 2021 being the earliest start date. Therefore, the start month for calculating cash allowance will not be affected even if the signature dates filled in by the applicant and his/her family member(s) on the Application Form are not the same (please see Question H2 below for information on start month of cash allowance).

D4.Can one stamp a seal or provide fingerprint(s) on the Application Form instead of signing?

In case anyone is unable to sign due to illiteracy or his/her health conditions, he/she can stamp a seal instead of signing on the Application Form. However, the Cash Allowance Office does not accept the provision of fingerprint(s) in lieu of signature(s).

E. Application Procedures – Bank Account

E1.Which types of bank account can the applicant households use for receiving the cash allowance under CATS?

The bank account for receiving the cash allowance must be a valid local Hong Kong dollar savings / current account solely or jointly under the registrant(s). The Cash Allowance Office does not accept credit card account, loan account, time deposit account, investment account or foreign currency account, etc. The bank account must be held by the applicant and/or his/her family member(s) listed in the Application Form.

E2.Can the applicant households receive the cash allowance through a bank account outside Hong Kong?

No. The applicant households cannot use a bank account outside Hong Kong (including offshore bank accounts) for receiving the cash allowance.

E3.If the applicant household has already opened a bank account in an overseas (or Mainland) branch of a local bank, can it be used for receiving the cash allowance?

No.

E4.A bank code is required for filling in the Application Form. Where to find this information?

The bank code can be found from a passbook page or a monthly statement of the bank account. It is usually the first three digits of the bank account number. For enquiry, please contact your bank directly.

E5.An account number is required for filling in the Application Form. Where to find this information?

The account number can be found from a passbook page or a monthly statement of the bank account. It is usually the set of digits following the first three digits of the bank account number (which is the bank code). For enquiry, please contact your bank directly.

E6.What to do if the holder of the bank account only has his/her name in English?

The applicant household is only required to fill in the English name concerned on the Application Form.

E7.What to do if family members of the applicant household have yet to reach a consensus on which bank account to use for receiving the cash allowance?

The Cash Allowance Office only accepts one bank account held by the applicant and/or his/her family member(s) listed in the Application Form for receiving the cash allowance. The applicant households should first discuss and decide among themselves on which bank account to be used before completing and submitting the Application Form.

E8.Can the applicant households change the bank details during the period of receiving the cash allowance?

Yes. The applicant households may complete and submit the Information Update Form CAS-2E to the Cash Allowance Office, together with documentary proof of the bank account that the household wishes to update for receiving the cash allowance, such as a copy of a passbook page or a monthly statement showing the name(s) of the bank account holder(s) and the account number (photocopy of a bank card is not acceptable).

F. Application Procedures – Submitting the Application Form

F1.How to determine the submission date of the Application Form?

If the Application Form is sent to “Cash Allowance Office, Housing Department, P.O. Box 209, Tsuen Wan Post Office” by post, the submission date will be determined by the postmark date. If the Application Form is submitted in the drop-in boxes of HD at the following locations within office hours, the submission date will be the date on which the Application Form is submitted (HD will stamp a seal on the concerned document(s) with the submission date) –

  • Cash Allowance Office, Housing Department, 5/F, 1 Kwai On Road, Kwai Chung, New Territories; or
  • Hong Kong Housing Authority Customer Service Centre, 3 Wang Tau Hom South Road, Kowloon

F2.What supporting document(s) is/are required to be submitted to the Cash Allowance Office on top of the completed and signed Application Form?

The supporting document(s) that must be submitted include –

  • documentary proof of the bank account for receiving the cash allowance, such as a copy of a passbook page or a monthly statement showing the name(s) of the bank account holder(s) and the account number (photocopy of a bank card is not acceptable);
  • (if applicable) a copy of the HKID Card of the family member(s) who has/have reached the age of 11 and been issued with a HKID card, if a copy of the HKID card has not been submitted to the Applications Sub-section (PRH) before; and
  • (if applicable) a copy of the One-way Permit of family member(s) who do(es) not hold a HKID Card or a Hong Kong Birth Certificate.
  • (if applicable) supporting document(s) (such as a copy of the HKID card) has to be submitted for updating the pre-printed information on the Application Form, if the supporting document(s) has/have not been submitted to the Applications Sub-section (PRH) before.

F3.Do the applicant household applying for the cash allowance need to provide document(s) such as a receipt on rent payment or proof of tenancy?

No.

F4.Must the applicant households submit income proof when submitting the Application Form?

No. That said, the applicant and his/her family member(s) are required to declare that their monthly total income and total net asset value do not exceed the relevant limits for PRH application laid down by HA; and that at the same time they do not own or co-own or have an interest in any domestic property in Hong Kong. The applicant households do not have to provide relevant documentary proof when submitting the Application Form. However, to facilitate possible verification in future, they must keep relevant document(s), including the income and asset proof, etc. for the six calendar months before completing the Application Form, and during the period of receiving the cash allowance.

F5.How do the applicant households submit the Application Form? Can it be submitted by fax or email?

Means of submission are as below –

  • sending the form to “Cash Allowance Office, Housing Department, P.O. Box 209, Tsuen Wan Post Office” by post; or
  • submitting the form in the drop-in box of HD at the following locations within office hours –
    • Cash Allowance Office, Housing Department, 5/F, 1 Kwai On Road, Kwai Chung, New Territories; or
    • Hong Kong Housing Authority Customer Service Centre, 3 Wang Tau Hom South Road, Kowloon

HD does not accept submission by fax or email.

F6.Must the applicant households pay sufficient postage when submitting the Application Form by post?

Yes. The applicant households must ensure that their mail item(s) bear(s) sufficient postage. The Cash Allowance Office will not accept mail items that have insufficient postage. Mail items addressed to the Cash Allowance Office without sufficient postage will be returned by Hongkong Post to the sender, who will be charged with the deficiency plus a surcharge. Mail items without return address will be disposed of by Hongkong Post in accordance with their established procedures for handling undeliverable mail.

F7.What is the deadline for submitting the Application Form after the PRH GA household has received it?

Households who wish to apply for the cash allowance should submit the completed Application Form together with necessary document(s) as soon as possible. While the Cash Allowance Office has not set a submission deadline, households should note that CATS will run for three years and any cash allowance will at most be disbursed until June 2024.

In addition, households should also note that the start month for calculating cash allowance will be determined by the month in which the concerned PRH GA household meets all the eligibility criteria, or the submission month of the completed Application Form, whichever is later, with 1 July 2021 being the earliest start date. The cash allowance is calculated from the first date of the relevant month.

G. Vetting Procedures and Application Results

G1.How long does the vetting of the application for the cash allowance take?

The Cash Allowance Office will process the applications as soon as possible. The time required for the Office to process an application depends on the total number of applications received, the accuracy of information provided in the Application Form, and whether the household concerned has provided sufficient information for updating family circumstances/personal particulars (if applicable), etc.

G2.Will the Cash Allowance Office acknowledge receipt of the Application Form after submission by the applicant?

The Cash Allowance Office will normally acknowledge receipt of the Application Form by sending a Short Message Service (SMS) to the concerned applicant. If the applicant has not provided a mobile phone number, the Cash Allowance Office will send an “Acknowledgement of Receipt of Application” to him/her by post.

The Cash Allowance Office will not issue an “Acknowledgement of Receipt of Application” via email.

If the applicant has not received an acknowledgement SMS or the “Acknowledgement of Receipt of Application” from the Cash Allowance Office one month after the submission of the Application Form, he/she may call the hotline on 3105 3333; email to the Office at enquiry@cashallowance.gov.hk; or visit the Cash Allowance Office at 5/F, 1 Kwai On Road, Kwai Chung, New Territories within the office hours for enquiries.

G3.How will the Cash Allowance Office notify the applicant households of the application results?

After vetting, the Cash Allowance Office will issue the “Notification of Application Results” to the applicants as soon as possible.

G4.Can GA households choose to receive the “Notification of Application Results” via email?

No.

G5.What is the amount of the first cash allowance disbursement?

The amount of the first disbursement will include the amount from the start month for calculating the cash allowance to the month in which the cash allowance is first disbursed.

G6.Will the Cash Allowance Office notify households who have successfully applied for the cash allowance of the monthly amount of cash allowance?

Yes. The Cash Allowance Office will issue the “Notification of Application Results” to the applicant households, which specifies the vetting result including the approved amount of cash allowance (if applicable).

G7.Can the applicant households lodge a request for review if the application for the cash allowance is not successful?

Yes. The applicant may lodge a request for review to the Cash Allowance Office by submitting the Application Review Form CAS-5E, together with supporting document(s) as sufficient justifications, within one month from the date of the “Notification of Application Result”, “Notification of Adjustment of Cash Allowance Amount”, or “Notification of Termination of Cash Allowance Disbursement”. Late submissions will not be considered.

G8.Why are some applications for the cash allowance unsuccessful?

Some applications may not be successful for the following reasons –

  • the PRH applicant and all family members are living in public housing;
  • the PRH applicant and all family members are receiving CSSA;
  • the PRH application is temporarily frozen;
  • the PRH application is cancelled/withdrawn;
  • the PRH application does not meet the eligibility for PRH allocation;
  • the household concerned has requested to put on hold its PRH application;
  • the household concerned is holding a valid GFC;
  • the household concerned has not submitted all the required document(s) concerning its application for the cash allowance;
  • certain family member(s) within the household concerned has/have not yet signed the Application Form;
  • after the update of particulars of family member(s), the household concerned has become a non-elderly one-person applicant;
  • the household concerned has been provided with the first PRH flat offer; or
  • after the update of particulars of family member(s), the waiting time is less than three years according to the “G-number Equivalent Date”.

H. Cash Allowance Levels

H1.What are the cash allowance levels? Will they be adjusted annually?

The cash allowance levels are determined by the number of eligible members within an applicant household –

No. of Eligible Members in the Household Amounts of Monthly Cash Allowance
1 $1,300
2 $2,250
3 $2,700
4 $3,050
5 $3,350
6 or above $3,900

The cash allowance levels will remain unchanged during the three-year period of CATS.

H2.How to calculate the start date for disbursement of cash allowance?

The start month of cash allowance disbursement is determined by the month that the applicant household has met all eligibility criteria, or the submission month of the completed Application Form, whichever is later, with 1 July 2021 being the earliest start date. The cash allowance is calculated from the first date of the relevant month.

Example (1): A household has its PRH application registered on 6 September 2018. This household will have waited for PRH for more than three years by 6 September 2021, and hence will have met the requirement of “having been waiting for PRH for more than three years” from September 2021. Assuming that this household has met all eligibility criteria and submitted the Application Form in the same month, the start month for calculating the cash allowance for this household will be September 2021.

Example (2): A household has met all eligibility criteria on 13 July 2021, and submitted the completed Application Form on the same date. The disbursement of cash allowance for this household will be counted from 1 July 2021.

Example (3): A household has met all eligibility criteria on 13 July 2021, and submitted the completed Application Form on 10 August 2021. According to the “whichever is later” principle, the Cash Allowance Office will use August 2021 as the start month for calculating cash allowance of the approved application. Hence the disbursement of cash allowance for this household will be counted from 1 August 2021.

I. Disbursement Arrangements

I1.Can the applicant households request to receive the cash allowance for a particular month earlier or later than scheduled?

No. The cash allowance will be disbursed through banks towards the end of each month.

I2.When will the monthly cash allowance be disbursed to the specified bank account of the applicant household?

The monthly cash allowance will be disbursed to the specified bank account of the applicant household concerned towards the end of each month.

I3.What to do if the applicant household suspects that there may be discrepancies between the cash allowance received via bank transfer and the amount of cash allowance as notified by the Cash Allowance Office?

If there are discrepancies between the cash allowance received via bank transfer and the amount of cash allowance as notified by the Cash Allowance Office, the households may call the hotline on 3105 3333; email to enquiry@cashallowance.gov.hk; or visit the Cash Allowance Office at 5/F, 1 Kwai On Road, Kwai Chung, New Territories during office hours, together with document(s) of bank transfer for enquiry.

I4.If the Cash Allowance Office cannot complete vetting an application within the month that it is submitted, will it affect the start month for calculating the cash allowance for an applicant household?

Even if the Cash Allowance Office cannot complete vetting an application within the month that it is submitted, the start month for calculating the cash allowance will not be affected. When giving out the first disbursement of cash allowance, the amount will include any outstanding amount yet to be received by the households previously. Please see Question H2 above for relevant information.

I5.What to do if an applicant household is unsure whether its bank provides auto-transfer service?

The applicant household may contact the bank directly to enquire.

I6.Will the banks impose any service charge for disbursing the cash allowance through bank transfer?

The banks will not impose any service charge for transfer in general. For enquiry, please contact the bank directly.

I7.How may an applicant household receive the cash allowance if it has no bank account?

Cash allowance will normally be disbursed via bank transfer to the bank account of an applicant household. Under exceptional circumstances (e.g. the applicant and his/her family member(s) are not able to open a local bank account due to special difficulties), the Cash Allowance Office may, on a case-by-case basis, consider approving the disbursement of the monthly cash allowance by cheque. The applicant will need to visit the Cash Allowance Office in person from the 5th working day of each month, and sign to acknowledge receipt of the cheque after verifying his/her name and the HKID Card number.

J. Terminating the cash allowance disbursement

J1.How to determine the terminating month of cash allowance after the applicant households have been provided with the first PRH flat offer?

The applicant households will no longer meet the eligibility criteria under CATS after they have been provided with the first PRH flat offer, irrespective of whether they accept it or not, save for cases with “acceptable reason(s)” for refusing housing offers as determined by HD under the existing PRH allocation mechanism (please see Questions J4 below for relevant information).

If the household accepts the flat offer, the cash allowance will be disbursed until the month in which the tenancy agreement of the allocated PRH flat is signed.

On the other hand, in general, if the household refuses the flat offer, the cash allowance will be disbursed until the month of processing intake formalities as specified in the Offer Letter. If the household refuses the flat offer under the Modified Advance Allocation Scheme, the cash allowance will be disbursed until one of the following months –

  • (i) the month of processing acceptance formalities as specified in the Offer Letter; or
  • (ii) the month of notifying HA of refusing the first PRH flat offer after accepting the offer in (i) above but before the Estate Office invites the household for signing the tenancy agreement; or
  • (iii) the month in which the Estate Office invites the household for signing the tenancy agreement.

Example: An applicant household has been provided with the first PRH flat offer on 26 September 2022. The household has accepted the offer and signed the tenancy agreement on 5 October. Thus, the final month of cash allowance disbursement for this household will be October 2022. If the household refuses the offer, and the date of processing intake formalities on the corresponding Offer Letter is 5 October 2022, then the final month of cash allowance disbursement for this household will also be October 2022.

J2.If the PRH application of an applicant household is cancelled after the stage of detailed vetting, will the cash allowance cease to be disbursed?

Yes. The cash allowance will cease to be disbursed from the next calendar month after the PRH application of the applicant household concerned is cancelled. If it is found that the applicant household does not actually meet the eligibility criteria (including the eligibility for PRH allocation) throughout the period of receiving the cash allowance, the Cash Allowance Office may deduct from the cash allowance to be disbursed any overpaid amount, adjust the cash allowance amount, cease to disburse the cash allowance, and/or recover any overpaid amount. The household concerned may also be prosecuted for contravening the Theft Ordinance (Cap. 210, Laws of Hong Kong).

Separately, if the PRH application of an applicant household is cancelled after purchase of a flat under a Subsidised Home Ownership Scheme, the cash allowance for the household concerned will cease to be disbursed from the next calendar month after the signing of the Sale and Purchase Agreement.

J3.Under what circumstances will the Cash Allowance Office cease to disburse cash allowance to the applicant households other than the households having been provided with the first PRH flat offer?

Other than the applicant households having been provided with the first PRH flat offer, the cash allowance will cease to be disbursed under the following circumstances –

  • the applicant and all family members are living in public housing;
  • the applicant and all family members are receiving CSSA;
  • the PRH application is temporarily frozen;
  • the PRH application is cancelled/withdrawn;
  • the PRH application does not meet the eligibility for PRH allocation;
  • the household has requested to put on hold its PRH application;
  • the household is holding a valid GFC;
  • after the update of particulars of family member(s), the PRH application of the household has become a non-elderly one-person application;
  • the household has not provided sufficient supporting document(s) for verification by the Cash Allowance Office; or
  • after the update of particulars of family member(s), the waiting time is less than three years according to the “G-number Equivalent Date”.

J4.If an applicant household refuses a PRH flat offer with reason(s) being determined as “acceptable” by HD, when will the cash allowance resume to be disbursed?

If the review of the household concerned is successful with the reason(s) for refusing the first PRH flat offer being determined as “acceptable” by HD, the Cash Allowance Office will resume disbursing the cash allowance, including the amount of cash allowance payable to the household during the period of suspension (if applicable).

K. Updating of Family Circumstances – General Enquiries

K1.If there are any changes in family circumstances / personal particulars, do the households need to re-submit the Application Form?

No. After submitting the Application Form or during the period of receiving the cash allowance, if the applicant households have to amend the particulars of the family member(s) arising from any changes in family circumstances (for example, birth of children, death, change of marital status, etc.), they must notify HD immediately such that the applications for both the cash allowance and the PRH can be handled properly. The household concerned must complete the Information Update Form (with relevant supporting document(s)), except for the circumstances where an Information Update Form is “not required” as specified in Appendix C of the Application Guide for the Cash Allowance Trial Scheme. The household concerned must also complete the form for updating household particulars of the PRH application (with relevant supporting document(s)) in accordance with Paragraph 3.2 of the “Application Guide for Public Rental Housing”. These forms must be submitted respectively to the Cash Allowance Office and the Applications Sub-section (PRH). For details, please refer to the Part 4 of the Application Guide of the Cash Allowance Trial Scheme and Appendix C.

K2.How to notify the Cash Allowance Office of any change of address after submitting the Application Form?

The household concerned must complete and submit the form for updating household particulars of the PRH application to the Applications Sub-section (PRH) together with relevant document(s). The household must also complete and submit the Information Update Form CAS-4E to the Cash Allowance Office. For details, please refer to the Part 4 of the Application Guide of the Cash Allowance Trial Scheme.

K3.How to obtain the Information Update Form of CATS? Can it be downloaded on the CATS’ website?

Yes. The Information Update Form of CATS can be downloaded from “Information Area” of this website; or can be obtained from the following HD’s offices – the Cash Allowance Office, Housing Department at 5/F, 1 Kwai On Road, Kwai Chung, New Territories or the Hong Kong Housing Authority Customer Service Centre at 3 Wang Tau Hom South Road, Kowloon.

K4.How to submit the Information Update Form? Can it be submitted by fax or email?

The means of submitting the Information Update Form and the Application Form of CATS are the same, that is –

  • sending the form to “Cash Allowance Office, Housing Department, P.O. Box 209, Tsuen Wan Post Office” by post; or
  • submitting the form in the drop-in box of HD at the following locations within office hours –
    • Cash Allowance Office, Housing Department, 5/F, 1 Kwai On Road, Kwai Chung, New Territories; or
    • Hong Kong Housing Authority Customer Service Centre, 3 Wang Tau Hom South Road, Kowloon

HD does not accept submission of the Information Update Form or the Application Form by fax or email.

K5.Will the Cash Allowance Office issue an “Acknowledgement of Receipt” to the applicant households who has submitted an Information Update Form?

In general, the Cash Allowance Office will not issue an “Acknowledgement of Receipt” to the applicant household who has submitted an Information Update Form.

Nevertheless, if the applicant household has not submitted the relevant supporting document(s) within a specified timeframe after submitting the Information Update Form, the Cash Allowance Office will issue a notification to the household concerned, reminding it to submit the required supporting document(s) as soon as possible.

K6.How long does the vetting of the Information Update Form take?

The time required depends on the total number of applications received, the accuracy of information provided in the Information Update Form, and whether the household concerned has provided relevant information for updating family circumstances/personal particulars (if applicable), etc. It is estimated that it takes about one to two months for processing straightforward cases.

K7.How will the Cash Allowance Office notify the applicant households of the results of the application for updating particulars?

After vetting the relevant application for updating particulars, the Cash Allowance Office will issue a “Notification of Result of Updating Particulars” or “Notification of Adjustment of Cash Allowance Amount” to the applicant household concerned, which specifies the vetting results including the adjusted amount of cash allowance after the updating (if applicable).

L. Updating of Family Circumstances – Additional/Deletion of Member(s) and Update of Marital Status

L1.What to do if a registered family member has passed away and thus needs to be deleted from the PRH application concerned while his/her name still appears in the Application Form for Cash Allowance?

The applicant may cross out the information of the deceased member on the Application Form, countersign next to the amendment(s), and submit the completed Application Form to the Cash Allowance Office. If the applicant has not yet notified the Applications Sub-section (PRH), he/she must also complete and submit the form for updating household particulars of the PRH application to the Applications Sub-section (PRH) together with required document(s) (e.g. a death certificate). The aforementioned forms as well as the required document(s) can also be submitted to the Cash Allowance Office together with the Application Form of CATS. For details, please refer to Paragraph 2.2 and Appendix A of the Application Guide for the Cash Allowance Trial Scheme.

L2.What to do if a PRH GA household has recently applied to HD for deleting a family member from the PRH application, but the name of the family member to be deleted still appears on the Application Form?

If the proposed deletion of family member(s) is pending approval by the Applications Sub-section (PRH), the applicant may cross out the information of that member on the Application Form and countersign next to the amendment(s). However, the member(s) to be deleted still has/have to sign on the Application Form if he/she/they is/are aged 18 or above (except for a deceased family member). Upon completing the Application Form, the applicant may submit it to the Cash Allowance Office. For details, please refer to Paragraph 2.2 and Appendix A of the Application Guide for the Cash Allowance Trial Scheme.

L3.What to do if a PRH GA household has recently applied to HD for adding a family member in the PRH application, but the name of the family member to be added does not appear on the Application Form?

If the proposed addition of family member(s) to the PRH application is pending approval by the Applications Sub-section (PRH), the applicant may fill in the information of the member to be added on the Application Form, and countersign next to the addition. If that member is aged 18 or above, he/she has to sign on the Application Form. Upon completing the Application Form, the household may submit it to the Cash Allowance Office. For details, please refer to Paragraph 2.2 and Appendix A of the Application Guide for the Cash Allowance Trial Scheme.

L4.What to do if the applicant / a family member has passed away after submitting the Application Form?

The household concerned must complete and submit the form for updating household particulars of the PRH application to the Applications Sub-section (PRH) together with required document(s) (e.g. a death certificate). The household must also complete the Information Update Form CAS-1E of CATS and submit it to the Cash Allowance Office. For details, please refer to Part 4 and Appendix A of the Application Guide for the Cash Allowance Trial Scheme.

L5.What to do if the applicant is undergoing/has completed divorce proceedings when filling in the Application Form for cash allowance?

The applicant must notify the Applications Sub-section (PRH) immediately. If the he/she wishes to apply for the cash allowance, he/she may cross out the information of the family member(s) (including (former) spouse) who is/are proposed to be removed or has/have been removed from the PRH application and countersign next to the amendment(s). The applicant should then submit the completed Application Form to the Cash Allowance Office. The Cash Allowance Office will assess the application for cash allowance after the Applications Sub-section (PRH) has completed the required follow-up action(s) for the PRH application concerned (e.g. splitting of PRH application or deletion of certain family member(s) including (former) spouse).

L6.What to do if the applicant undergoes/has completed divorce proceedings when receiving the cash allowance?

The applicant must first notify the Applications Sub-section (PRH). After the Applications Sub-section (PRH) has completed the required follow-up action(s) (e.g. splitting of PRH application or deletion of certain family member(s) including (former) spouse), the applicant must complete and submit the Information Update Form CAS-1E to the Cash Allowance Office immediately.

It should be noted that the Cash Allowance Office will suspend the cash allowance disbursement from the first calendar month after the applicant has notified the Applications Sub-section (PRH). The Cash Allowance Office will pay back any cash allowance payable to the applicant during the suspended period when the Applications Sub-section (PRH) has completed the required follow-up action(s).

For details, please refer to Appendix C of the Application Guide for the Cash Allowance Trial Scheme.

L7.What to do if the Applications Sub-section has completed the splitting of PRH application and/or deletion of certain family member(s) including (former) spouse arising from divorce, and the household concerned wishes to apply / continue to receive the cash allowance?

After the Applications Sub-section has completed the splitting of PRH application and/or deletion of certain family member(s), the applicant of the original PRH application must submit the Information Update Form CAS-1E to the Cash Allowance Office immediately.

As for the splinter PRH GA household after the split, if it may be eligible to apply for the cash allowance (including having been waiting for PRH for more than three years, having fulfilled the eligibility for PRH allocation, etc.), the Cash Allowance Office will issue the notification letter and the Application Form separately.

For details, please refer to Appendix C of the Application Guide for the Cash Allowance Trial Scheme.

L8.What to do if the applicant household wishes to update the bank account details after the change in marital status?

The applicant household must complete the Information Update Form CAS-2E and submit it to the Cash Allowance Office, together with the documentary proof of the bank account that the household wishes to update for receiving the cash allowance, such as a copy of a passbook page or a monthly statement showing the name(s) of the bank account holder(s) and the account number (photocopy of a bank card is not acceptable). Please see Question E8 for relevant information.

L9.When will the new amount of cash allowance be effective after adding family member(s) in the applicant household?

If the Applications Sub-section (PRH) has approved the addition of family member(s) in the applicant household, and the applicant household has submitted the Information Update Form CAS-1E to the Cash Allowance Office, the amount of cash allowance will be adjusted based on the latest number of eligible members within the household concerned starting from the month when the Applications Sub-section (PRH) has received all the required supporting document(s), or when the Cash Allowance Office has received the Information Update Form CAS-1E, whichever is later. For details, please refer to Part 3 and Appendix C of the Application Guide for the Cash Allowance Trial Scheme.

Example: An applicant household has submitted the Information Update Form CAS-1E in May 2022; but has only submitted all the required supporting document(s) to the Applications Sub-section (PRH) in July 2022. As such, the adjusted amount of cash allowance will be effective from July 2022.

L10.When will the new amount of cash allowance be effective after deleting family member(s) from the applicant household?

If the Applications Sub-section (PRH) has approved the deletion of family member(s) (due to death or divorce, etc.) from the applicant household, and the applicant household has submitted the Information Update Form CAS-1E to the Cash Allowance Office, the amount of cash allowance will be adjusted based on the latest number of eligible members from the next calendar month following the month of decease, or the month of deletion of the concerned member(s).

Example (1): The Applications Sub-section (PRH) has approved the deletion of a family member from an applicant household in May 2022. The adjusted amount of cash allowance will be effective from June 2022.

Example (2): A family member in an applicant household has passed away in April 2022; and the household requests for deleting that member from the PRH application in the same month. The adjusted amount of cash allowance will be effective from May 2022.

M. Updating of Family Circumstances – Other Circumstances

M1.If the applicant household holds a valid GFC while receiving the cash allowance, when will the cash allowance cease to be disbursed?

The approved cash allowance for the applicant household concerned will cease to be disbursed from the next calendar month after the Applications Sub-section has issued GFC.

M2.If the PRH application of the applicant household is frozen/withheld while the household is receiving the cash allowance, when will the cash allowance cease to be disbursed?

The approved cash allowance for the applicant household concerned will cease to be disbursed from the next calendar month after the Applications Sub-section has frozen/withheld its PRH application.

M3.If the applicant household requests to put on hold its PRH application while receiving the cash allowance, when will the cash allowance cease to be disbursed?

The approved cash allowance for the applicant household concerned will cease to be disbursed from the next calendar month after the Applications Sub-section has withheld its PRH application.

M4.If certain family member(s) of the applicant household start(s) to receive CSSA after submitting the Application Form or while receiving the cash allowance, must the applicant household re-submit the Application Form or submit an Information Update Form?

No. HD conducts data matching with the Social Welfare Department on a monthly basis in order to confirm whether there is/are CSSA recipient(s) among the applicants for the cash allowance. If certain family members of the applicant household have become CSSA recipients, those members will no longer be eligible for the cash allowance from the month of starting to become CSSA recipients. Other family members who have met all eligibility criteria can still continue to receive the cash allowance.

M5.What to do if certain family member(s) of the applicant household cease(s) to receive CSSA and wishes to apply for the cash allowance?

If a family member ceases to be a CSSA recipient and wishes to apply for the cash allowance, the applicant household must submit the Information Update Form CAS-2E to the Cash Allowance Office. For details, please refer to Appendix C of the Application Guide for the Cash Allowance Trial Scheme.

M6.What to do if certain family member(s) of the applicant household is detained in / released from prison?

Within the applicant household, if certain family member(s) is/are detained in prison, the household concerned must complete and submit the Information Update Form CAS-3E to the Cash Allowance Office together with the documentary proof issued by the Correctional Services Department (CSD) concerning the imprisonment of the family member(s).

Similarly, if certain family member(s) is/are released from prison, the household concerned must complete and submit the Information Update Form CAS-3E to the Cash Allowance Office together with the documentary proof issued by CSD concerning the release from prison of the family member(s).

For details, please refer to Appendix C of the Application Guide for the Cash Allowance Trial Scheme.

M7.If an applicant household has initially applied for the cash allowance but its PRH application is subsequently cancelled for exceeding the specified income and/or net asset value limits, can the household concerned still receive the cash allowance? If the household subsequently requests for, and has been approved of, reinstating its PRH application, how can the household continue to apply for the cash allowance?

The cash allowance will cease to be disbursed upon the cancellation of the PRH application. After the approved reinstatement of the PRH application, if the household concerned wishes to apply for the cash allowance again, it may complete and submit the Information Update Form CAS-2E. The household will receive the cash allowance so long as it has met all the eligibility criteria under CATS. The cash allowance will be disbursed starting from the month in which the PRH application is reinstated, or the month in which the Cash Allowance Office has received the Information Update Form CAS-2E, whichever is later.

M8.If an applicant household requests for cancelling the application for the cash allowance, when will the cash allowance disbursement be terminated?

If the applicant household requests for cancelling the application for the cash allowance through submitting the Information Update Form CAS-2E, the cash allowance will cease to be disbursed from the next calendar month after the Cash Allowance Office has received the Information Update Form.

N. Others

N1.For applicants who are not proficient in Chinese and English, how may they seek assistance?

Persons requiring specific language support may call the telephone interpretation hotlines of the Centre for Harmony and Enhancement of Ethnic Minority Residents (CHEER) –

Language Hotline
Bahasa Indonesia 3755 6811
Nepali 3755 6822
Urdu 3755 6833
Punjabi 3755 6844
Tagalog 3755 6855
Thai 3755 6866
Hindi 3755 6877
Vietnamese 3755 6888

N2.How can a household refund any overpaid amount of cash allowance to the Government?

The Government will issue notification letter(s) and General Demand Note(s), which will specify the outstanding amount, means of payment and the due date. In general, the outstanding amount can be settled by cash or cheque.

N3.Will the cash allowance be counted towards the total income of the PRH application?

No.

N4.Will the cash allowance be counted towards the total net asset of the PRH application?

The cash allowance disbursed to the PRH GA households will not be counted towards the total net asset of the PRH application for 24 months from the month of receipt.

N5.What will the Government do to prevent culprits from impersonating staff of the CATS Office and contacting applicant households to obtain information? How can applicant households verify the authenticity of such calls?

The Cash Allowance Office will send Short Message Services (SMSs) to applicant households on application matters. To prevent fraudulent acts, the SMSs sent by the Cash Allowance Office will not contain any linkages; nor will the Cash Allowance Office request the applicant household to reply by SMSs. Besides, the Cash Allowance Office will contact the applicant or any family member within the PRH application by phone via only the designated telephone number 3105 2323. The staff of the Cash Allowance Office will not call the applicant household to obtain personal data (including HKID Card number, bank account details, etc.). Applicant households who have doubts about the authenticity of calls may call the hotline on 3105 3333 for verification.