Hong Kong Housing Society' Integrated Elderly Community Project brings new economic impetus to Tin Shui Wai (with photos)The Integrated Elderly Community Project (IECP) of the Hong Kong Housing Society (HKHS) will bring new economic impetus and create employment opportunities in Tin Shui Wai. It aims to provide quality retirement living for the elderly in their local community.
The Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, said this while addressing the HKHS Wetland Park Road Project - Tin Shui Wai IECP site investigation inauguration ceremony at Tin Shui Wai Area 115 this morning (March 29), which she jointly officiated with the HKHS Chairman, Mr Yeung Ka-sing.
Mrs Lam said the Chief Executive announced at the Summit on Social Enterprise in December 2007 that the Government would consider how to make use of appropriate land available in Tin Shui Wai to enhance the social and economic development of the area. The HKHS' Integrated Elderly Community Project in Tin Shui Wai Area 115 is a major step in implementing this policy initiative.
With a size of around 60,000 square metres in Tin Shui Wai Area 115, the proposed project will provide about 1,000 residential units for the elderly, a wellness centre, residential care home for the elderly, a hotel as well as various training and recreation facilities. It will enable the elderly to actively participate in the community and lead a fulfilling and quality life upon their retirement. It is anticipated that Phase I of the project will be completed and start operation in 2014 and Phase II will be completed by 2018.
Mrs Lam said: "The HKHS estimated that about 300 jobs will be created during the construction phase of the IECP and not fewer than 1,200 jobs will be provided when it is in operation.
"Besides provision of jobs, the project will attract tourists to Tin Shui Wai, injecting commercial activities into the area, which in turn will have a positive effect on the social and economic development of the region."
HKHS Chairman Mr Yeung said: "Preparation works for the IECP are on schedule. Since 2008, the consultant commissioned by HKHS has almost completed the master layout plan and various environmental impact studies as required by the Tin Shui Wai Outline Zoning Plan. The HKHS will submit the master layout plan to the Town Planning Board shortly."
The IECP will be constructed in two phases. When Phase I is under construction, the HKHS plans to make full use of the area set aside for Phase II development, which spans 20,000 square metres. There will be show flats and elderly recreational facilities to enable the elderly and those who are interested to get a feel of the living environment under the IECP scheme. It is expected that some 50 jobs will be created by providing these short-term facilities.
In addition, the HKHS plans to set up an elderly resources centre and a wellness centre on the remaining 30,000 square metres of land on Area 112. The proposal will also include a Vocational Training Council (VTC) training centre, which will offer 1,500 training opportunities annually, and some ancillary commercial facilities (such as retail shops).
The proposed VTC training centre will provide training programmes for hospitality services, catering and medical care services. The centre will be equipped with a training kitchen and dining facilities, a dormitory, classrooms, an adventure based training centre, a greenhouse and an organic farm.
These short-term facilities, which will be completed after mid-2011, are expected to create about 200 jobs.
The HKHS will consult Yuen Long District Council on the proposed project later this year.
Mrs Lam said: "The Development Bureau welcomes and appreciates the HKHS' efforts in Tin Shui Wai. Despite its short-term nature, the project in Area 112 has a synergy effect with the IECP development in Area 115, which will bring in further economic impetus in the Tin Shui Wai area, providing jobs and serving the community.
"The proposed project shows that the HKHS is committed not only to providing housing and related services to local residents, it also cares for the community. The Development Bureau will continue to work closely with the HKHS in taking forward these projects."
Mrs Lam visited the new training centre of the Construction Industry Council Training Academy in Tin Shui Wai Area 112 after the ceremony.
The training centre, which was commissioned in 2009, promotes social and economic development in the Tin Shui Wai area. It provides about 700 full-time adult short-course places each year to train workers for the construction industry. More than 70% of the students come from the northwestern part of the New Territories, including Tin Shui Wai. The centre helps meet manpower needs for future infrastructure projects in the region.
Ends/Monday, March 29, 2010
Issued at HKT 19:28