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HONG KONG (Reuters) -Hong Kong property developer New World Development said on Thursday it would launch a research project to tackle a chronic housing shortage and sky-high home prices in one of the world's most expensive property markets. As part of the initiative, New World said a committee would study long-standing housing issues, ranging from unaffordable prices, longed waiting times for public housing and a lack of elderly-friendly homes as the population ages. "Solving Hong Kong's deep-rooted housing issue is fundamental to the city's future growth," Adrian Cheng, chief executive of New World and chairman of the initiative, New World Build for Good, said in a statement.
As Beijing seeks to tighten its grip over Hong Kong, it has a new mandate for the city's powerful property tycoons: pour resources and influence into backing Beijing's interests, and help solve a potentially destabilising housing shortage. Chinese officials delivered the message in closed meetings this year amid broader efforts to bring the city to heel under a sweeping national security law and make it more "patriotic," according to three major developers and a Hong Kong government adviser familiar with the talks. "The rules of the game have changed," they were told, according to a source close to mainland officials, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter.