Hong Kong Government urges Disney to help alleviate the housing crisis

Pressuring them to free up land marked for the theme park’s expansion

Hong Kong Disneyland. Swedishnomad.com-AlexW/Shutterstock

The housing minister in Hong Kong recently disclosed their plan to ease the housing crisis by developing temporary homes on some lands, including the 60-hectares that was supposed to be used for the potential expansion of Disneyland, reported Bloomberg.

The Walt Disney Company, on the other hand, has not revealed any plans for the future, seeing as the political protests have caused their total number of visitors to decline over the past few months.

In 2000, the government and Disney signed a 20-year agreement that prevented the former to use the site for housing projects. Since the said contract has come to an end, the family entertainment and media enterprise can choose to extend the transaction for 10 more years, giving them time to decide whether to push through with the expansion.

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“We hope Disney can consider corporate social responsibility and exempt the site from its contractual restrictions, allowing it to be used for transitional housing,” said the secretary for transport and housing Frank Chan.

Beijing and local authorities have identified unaffordable housing as the root cause of the social anger that led to months of pro-democracy protests. The sometimes violent demonstrations have destroyed the economy, battered the retail and tourism industry, and even provoked the richest developers to help out the city, with some donating land back to the government.

Last November, Disney revealed that their operating income could drop to around USD275 million if the protests continued by September, the end of the fiscal year.