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Secretary for Development visits OBB building (with photos)

The Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, today (December 15) visited a residential building in Mong Kok which has recently completed large scale renovation works under the Operation Building Bright.

Mrs Lam noted that the works had enhanced building safety as well as the living environment of the residents.

Kam Sing Building in Prince Edward Road West, Mong Kok, is one of the 1,023 Category 1 target buildings (those with owners' corporations) included in the OBB scheme since it was launched in May this year. The building was built in 1964 with 52 residential units.

With an approved OBB funding of about $1.3 million, the building has undergone major renovations to repair and maintain the waterproofing, drainage and flush water systems, as well as renovating the external and internal finishes.

Accompanied by Chairman of the Owners' Corporation of the building and District Officer (Yau Tsim Mong), Mrs Vicki Kwok, Mrs Lam visited an elderly owner-occupier and listened to his views on the renovation works. She learnt that each of the 22 elderly owners in the building received a subsidy of about $34,000 from OBB funding.
     
With a total budget of $2 billion, the OBB aims to assist about 2,000 target buildings and create 20,000 job opportunities for construction and maintenance workers as well as related professionals and technicians.  As at end November 2009, works have started in 184 buildings.

After the visit, Mrs Lam went to 600-626 Shanghai Street, where she was briefed by the Director of Planning and Design of Urban Renewal Authority (URA), Mr Michael Ma, on URA's proposal to preserve and revitalise shop houses of Cantonese verandah type, which was an initiative announced in the Chief Executive's 2007-08 Policy Address.

Ten of these shop-houses were built in the 1930s and were graded as Grade I historic buildings. The other four were constructed in the 1960s. The URA is seeking the views of the public on the future use of these buildings after renovation.

During today's visit, Mrs Lam was also briefed by the District Officer on a proposal from the local community to construct a new public transport interchange in Sai Yee Street, to ease the heavy traffic flow in the heart of Mong Kok area. The proposed site is currently occupied by an office of the Water Supplies Department and a depot of Food and Environmental Hygiene Department. These and other area improvement proposals were contained in a Planning Department study completed recently based on which the Development Bureau has invited URA to take forward short to medium term improvements in consultation with the local community.  For longer term improvements, the Water Supplies Department will consider the relocation of its office.

Before ending her visit, Mrs Lam met Yau Tsim Mong District Council members at Mong Kok Government Offices to exchange views on various district issues.

Ends/Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Issued at HKT 21:11

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