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Hong Kong residents in search of an apartment in the city’s public housing system will need to exercise patience – a lot of patience.

According to a report in the South China Morning Post, the average waiting time for a Hong Kong public rental unit is 5.3 years. However, this is not a record – last month, the Hong Kong Housing Authority acknowledged the average waiting time was 6.1 years, the highest since 1999.

The authority said 2,300 general applicants were allocated a rental unit during the second quarter of this year, which included 510 elderly residents. As of June, roughly 133,100 general requests for public housing were being processed.

The housing situation has been a long-simmering issue in Hong Kong – two years ago, Xia Baolong, head of China’s Central Office for Hong Kong and Macau Affairs, demanded that Hong Kong authorities rectify the housing shortage by 2049. Hong Kong’s government identified 864 acres of land to build 330,000 public rental housing in the coming decade, only one-third of the homes are expected to be ready between the 2023-24 and 2027-28 financial years.