The Development Bureau (DEVB) announced today (July 18) that the Hong Kong Housing Authority (HA) will be issuing flat offer letters to eligible households affected by the First Phase development of the Kwu Tung North (KTN) and Fanling North (FLN) New Development Areas (NDAs).
In the past few months, the Lands Department (LandsD), the Hong Kong Housing Society (HKHS) and the HA have been working at full steam to handle rehousing and compensation matters for affected households in the KTN and FLN NDAs. At present, more than 170 households affected by the First Phase development have been confirmed as being eligible for rehousing and will be allocated units in Po Shek Wu Estate in the same district (North District) by the HA. The HA will soon contact these households by post to inform them of their allocated units and follow up on the intake formalities. Separately, around 10 other eligible households which applied for rental units in existing estates under the HKHS have been allocated units in HKHS estates.
"In May last year, the DEVB introduced a non-means tested rehousing option for the Government's development clearance exercises to address the needs of households which could not fulfil the means test requirement. Among the households allocated flats as mentioned above, over 70 per cent are rehoused under this new rehousing arrangement," a spokesman for the DEVB said.
The LandsD and the relevant parties will continue to handle as quickly as possible the rehousing and compensation matters of other households affected by the First Phase development. As for households which are affected by the Remaining Phase development and have submitted applications for voluntary early departure from and surrendering of their squatter structures, their applications for rehousing and compensation are also being processed. The LandsD and the relevant parties will keep close contact with these households, and inform them of the application results as soon as practicable.
At the end of this month, the LandsD will issue letters to notify all households affected by the First Phase development of their departure deadlines (depending on the works programme, the departure deadlines for the households affected by the First Phase development range from the first half of 2020 to the second half of 2022) and the status of their applications for rehousing and compensation. Three months before the departure deadline for each household, the LandsD will also affix notices in the relevant areas in accordance with statutory procedures.
"Whilst the departure deadlines for the households affected by the First Phase development range from the first half of 2020 to the second half of 2022, eligible households are now gradually receiving rehousing flat offers. Such an arrangement demonstrates the Government's commitment to its objective of 'rehousing before clearance'. The Government will continue to work towards properly rehousing the eligible households before clearance exercises commence," the DEVB spokesman said.
As far as the private land owners are concerned, the LandsD plans to commence in the coming few months the statutory land resumption process for all the private land affected by the First Phase development. Resumption notices will be affixed in the development area, stipulating that the land will revert to the Government after three months. The expiration date on the resumption notice is the date on which the lots concerned will revert to the Government, but it is not and does not affect the departure deadlines for the affected households, of which the households will be notified separately. After affixing the resumption notices, the LandsD will start arranging the disbursement of ex-gratia compensation to the affected private land owners.
About 490 households affected by the First Phase development of the KTN and FLN NDAs are in contact with the LandsD for eligibility screening. As stated above, over 180 households have been confirmed as being eligible for rehousing and allocated rehousing units. Around 80 applications for rehousing and 40 applications for cash compensation are being processed, while nearly 50 others await submission of further information. The remaining around 140 households are ineligible for rehousing or compensation based on currently available information, with major reasons including that they own domestic properties or are existing public rental housing tenants, they only moved into the areas of the NDAs after the freezing survey, or the structures concerned are unauthorised structures (i.e. no squatter survey or land instrument records). As explained by the Government in the past, in addressing the needs of the clearees, the Government also needs to ensure the proper and fair use of public resources. If households covered by the freezing survey are not eligible for rehousing and compensation, they will be granted the Domestic Removal Allowance.
If affected households have any enquiries, they may contact the Clearance (2) Office of the LandsD at 2664 5141. If necessary, households may also seek assistance from the Social Service Teams engaged by the Government (Tel: 6601 1673 for KTN or 2503 0818 for FLN).
The KTN and FLN NDAs form a core part of the Government's land supply strategy. Upon full development, the NDAs will provide a total of about 71 800 housing units. The Finance Committee of the Legislative Council has approved in May this year the funding for commencing the First Phase development, which will provide about 21 000 housing units, of which 18 000 are public housing units. Population intake of the first batches of private and public housing is expected to start in 2023-24 and 2026-27 respectively.
Ends/Thursday, July 18, 2019
Issued at HKT 18:56