The following is issued on behalf of the Housing Authority:
Public housing applicants will be given an additional choice to be allocated to rental units in Po Tin Interim Housing (IH) Estate in Tuen Mun with lower rents.
This followed the approval by the Housing Authority's Subsidised Housing Committee (SHC) today (June 2) to convert 4,100 vacant units of the half-occupied interim housing estate into rental housing with immediate effect in a bid to maximise the utilisation of public rental housing resources.
The established space allocation standard of seven square metres internal floor area per person will remain for those accepting offers to Po Tin Estate. However, they will be paying rentals equivalent to licence fees for interim housing, which is 95% of the district best rent of $42.2 per square metre.
"To encourage a higher take up rate, a one-month rent-free period will be granted in addition to the usual 14-day fitting-out period for new tenancy," chairman of the SHC Mr Ng Shui-lai said.
Mr Ng said that as the move was intended to be an additional choice for General Waiting List applicants, refusal of the Po Tin PRH offer would not be counted as unreasonable refusal and that the three offers arrangement would still be applicable.
To minimise disturbances to existing licensees in Po Tin IH Housing Estate, a gradual phasing out strategy would be adopted for the remaining 4,600 units now being occupied.
"Existing licensees whose turn for allocation of PRH is due and are found eligible will be given offers of suitable flats either in Po Tin or other estates or locations of their choices. Licensees not due for allocation of PRH will be allowed to remain stay put, upon the departure of the licensees, the vacated units would be re-let as PRH units," explained Mr Ng.
While no alteration work will be needed to the building structure, the security system of Po Tin IH Estate would be upgraded to include the provision of a main security gate, a security combination lock, an intercom system, a security guard at the lift lobby and a telephone-entry security system.
Despite the conversion, the Transit Centre at Po Tin will be retained to cater for the needs of temporary bed-space accommodation for clearees and victims of natural disasters.
At today's SHC meeting, members also endorsed to apply the same arrangements for Po Tin IH Estate to the 3,500 units in Tin Yan Estate Phase I in Tin Shui Wai.
Ends/Wednesday, June 2, 2004