LCQ10: Operation Building Bright Following is a question by the Hon Cheung Hok-ming and a written reply by the Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, in the Legislative Council today (April 14):
The Government, in collaboration with the Hong Kong Housing Society and the Urban Renewal Authority, launched a two-billion dollar Operation Building Bright (OBB) in 2009 to provide subsidies and one-stop technical assistance to help owners of some 2,000 target buildings which are 30 years old or over to carry out repair works. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(a) whether the authorities have, since the implementation of OBB, assessed if there have been adjustments in the costs of the repair works of the target buildings due to the upsurge in the amount of works; if such an assessment has been conducted, of the specific details; and
(b) given that one of the criteria to be met by target buildings of OBB is "the buildings comprise no more than 400 residential units", whether the authorities will consider relaxing such a requirement so as to enable more buildings to meet the criteria?
(a) The Hong Kong Housing Society (HKHS) and the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) are the implementation agencies of the Operation Building Bright (OBB). Since the launch of the OBB May last year, the HKHS and URA have been closely monitoring the tender prices of repair works in respect of the OBB applications, and have appointed independent professional consultants to assess the costs of repair works submitted by the applicants and provided estimated prices that are close to the market for different work items. According to the observation of the HKHS and URA so far, there has been no sign of significant upsurge in the costs of repair works for buildings participating in the OBB.
(b) The Development Bureau is considering the next steps, including how to put into optimum use the remaining funds in the original $2 billion as well as the additional $500 million proposed by the Financial Secretary in this year's budget, in order to assist more owners to carry out building repair works. We will also consider, inter alia, whether the requirement of "no more than 400 residential units" should be adjusted. We plan to further report to the Legislative Council Panel on Development in the middle of this year on the progress of OBB and the proposal on how to effectively utilise resources.
Ends/Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Issued at HKT 15:45