Following is a question by the Dr Hon Fernando Cheung and a written reply by the Secretary for Development, Mr Michael Wong, in the Legislative Council today (October 25):
At present, domestic tenants who are affected by redevelopment projects carried out by the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) (tenants affected by redevelopment) are eligible for allocation of flats in the four rehousing blocks (i.e. Shun Sing Mansion at 466 Des Voeux Road West, Western District; Rich Building at 163-165 Lai Chi Kok Road, Sham Shui Po; Bedford Tower at 68-72 Bedford Road, Tai Kok Tsui; and 12 Soy Street, Mong Kok) under the URA, provided they meet the relevant criteria. The URA has decided to renovate and convert some of the rehousing flats for living by tenants affected by redevelopment. In addition, the URA also participates in the Community Housing Movement facilitated by the Government by providing social welfare organisations with some of the flats originally earmarked for rehousing tenants affected by redevelopment, so as to provide transitional community housing for needy grass-roots households. Regarding the statistics and allocation of the URA’s rehousing flats, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) whether it knows from the 2015-2016 financial year to September this year, among the tenants affected by various redevelopment projects in respect of which acquisition and rehousing had been completed, the number of tenants who were allocated rehousing flats by the URA, and set out in Table 1 in Annex 1 a breakdown by rehousing block and flat type (i.e. (i) one-person flat, (ii) two-person flat, and (iii) family flat);
(2) whether it knows (i) the number of occupied flats, (ii) the number of vacant flats available for allocation to tenants affected by redevelopment, (iii) the number of flats leased to social welfare organisations, and (iv) the total number of flats, in various rehousing blocks as at September this year, and set out in Table 2 in Annex 1 a breakdown by rehousing block and flat type;
(3) whether it knows (i) the number of flats for which renovation or conversion works will be carried out, (ii) the number of flats which will be available for allocation upon completion of renovation or conversion works, and (iii) the smallest and the largest living area of the converted flats, in various rehousing blocks, and set out in Table 3 in Annex 1 a breakdown by rehousing block and flat type; and
(4) whether the Development Bureau will discuss with the URA the construction of new buildings to rehouse tenants affected by redevelopment?
Under its existing rehousing and ex-gratia payment policy, the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) will provide ex-gratia payments for eligible tenants affected by its redevelopment projects to assist them in relocation or arrange for them to be rehoused to public rental housing (PRH). For tenants having temporary housing needs but not eligible for PRH and not opting for ex-gratia payments, they may choose to move into the flats in the rehousing blocks of the URA.
Having consulted the URA, my reply to the four-part question is as follows:
(1) The numbers of tenants who were allocated rehousing flats by the URA from the 2015-2016 financial year to October 2017 are set out in Table 1 in Annex 2.
(2) The numbers of flats by rehousing block and flat type as categorised by use below as at October 2017 are set out in Table 2 in Annex 2.
(3) Details of the URA's plans for converting the rehousing flats are set out in Table 3 in Annex 2.
(4) The URA will continue to arrange for eligible tenants affected by its redevelopment projects to be rehoused to PRH or its rehousing blocks, or offer ex-gratia payments to facilitate removal. According to the URA's assessment, the number of tenants having temporary housing needs but not eligible for PRH and not opting for ex-gratia payments is small. Therefore, the URA currently has no plan to construct new buildings for rehousing tenants at this stage.
Ends/Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Issued at HKT 17:20