The Hong Kong Housing Society unveils a special residential project in which the ‘upper class’ elderly can live for a set lump sum until they die. For some reason, they are calling it Tanner Hill, which conjures up images of leather-working and thus the processing of carcasses, and therefore not terrifically brilliant feng shui – but maybe that’s just my twisted mind.
You might think that, as a non-profit, the HKHS aimed to help the poor, but this is some sort of non-subsidized development, and (presumably) some sort of hare-brained initiative of former Chief Executive Donald Tsang. Had some land in North Point lying around, couldn’t think what to do with it…
The more-or-less luxury complex is restricted to the over-60s and features servants’ quarters, ghastly-sounding wellness centres and clinics. The South China Morning Post reports that there is no means test, though it might be more accurate to say you need to be quite rich. The older you are, the less you pay. Thus, a 60-year-old pays HK$10 million for a 820-sq-ft unit, while an 80-year-old would pay HK$5 million. (Plus of course management fees – but hey, you even get management fees in heaven.)
The deal is that you have to hand the apartment back to the HKHS when you depart this world. In other words, it works a bit like a reverse mortgage. For this reason, it looks likely to appeal mostly to people who hate their kids, because the nest-egg vanishes and the ungrateful brats will never see a penny.
It would also be ideal if you are 80 and know for sure that you still have 20 years’ life left in you. Which brings us rather neatly to news just in (from a reliable source, though still no confirmation as of 10.50am): Hong Kong social justice warrior-turned Beijing apologist Elsie Tu (nee
Elliot Hume) has passed away, at a sprightly 102. Maybe the HKHS were playing safe – from an actuarial point of view – and waiting for this before releasing Tanner Hill for sale. (Update.)
On a completely unrelated note: the latest from China Daily, so you don’t have to bother…