Protest bazaar held at Tung Chung public housing, residents and vendors denounce rent spike

 Property company Link Real Estate Investment Trust (Link REIT) became the subject of protests by residents of Tung Chung on the afternoon of May 22.

The company had figured in a string of controversies regarding market management outsourcing and carpark rents throughout 2016.

Most recently, the market at Tung Chung's Yat Tung Estate had been outsourced by Link REIT to Uni-China (Market) Management Limited, and stall rents spiked upward following renovation work. A number of lessees had to vacate previously held space, and prices for goods sold there rose.

Residents set up a bazaar in protest of the rent hike at the site on Sunday. An officer from Hong Kong's Housing Authority arrived at the protest area, which he said was causing obstruction, leading to a row with residents, merchants, and activists.

Police officers also appeared at the scene.

The Housing Authority representative stated that he was simply carrying out its mandate of policing illegal activity, including unlicensed vendors, as well as ensuring the road was clear.

Photo by Exploringlife (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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