Timely maintenance of buildings is key to quality homes



The Secretary for Planning and Lands, Mr Gordon Siu today (March 22) called on property owners to tackle the chronic problems in their buildings so as to extend their life cycle and to maintain value.


Speaking at the Special Finance Committee meeting this (March 22) morning to examine the Draft Estimates of Expenditure 2000/01, Mr Siu said while Hong Kong aspires to be a world-class city, many of her older city blocks are a cause for concern.


"Many of our existing buildings face the problem of shortfalls in management and maintenance and proliferation of unauthorized buildings works. There is a pressing need for owners' participation, timely maintenance, and proper management," he said.


"Property owners must act for themselves and carry out timely maintenance of their own assets," he stressed.


"We deserve better quality homes, not poorly maintained buildings degenerating into slums," said Mr Siu.


On the part of the Government, besides providing the Buildings Department with additional resources for immediate action against unauthorized building works including rooftop structures, Mr Siu said that the Planning and Lands Bureau would re-examine the legislation relating to buildings and review the enforcement policies.


The Task Force established early this year in the Planning and Lands Bureau will formulate a comprehensive strategy for building safety and preventive maintenance.


The Government will also adopt a total approach to integrate "maintainability" throughout the life cycle of new buildings.


"We aim to encourage the design and construction of buildings to be safe and durable as well as manageable and maintainable," said Mr Siu.


"In harmony with the environment and energy efficiency, making use of natural forces such as wind, sun and rain will be applied in our building design," he added.


He said that the Government will facilitate developers and building professionals to achieve sustainability and maintainability.


On urban renewal, Mr Siu said that the Bureau is finalizing its strategy to speed up urban redevelopment and land rehabilitation.


"The Urban Renewal Authority Bill is being considered by LegCo. The passing of the Bill will enable us to put in place the Provisional Urban Renewal Authority in mid-2000 to be followed by the establishment of the Urban Renewal Authority by the end of this year," noted Mr Siu.




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End/Wednesday, March 22, 2000