The following is issued on behalf of the Housing Authority :
The Housing Authority (HA) has approved a set of arrangements for licensees affected by clearance of the single Interim Housing (IH) block in Kwai Shing East Estate (KSE) while setting February 2010 as the target clearance date.
"A notification period of 18 months is appropriate in allowing time for rehousing and associated arrangements for affected households,"a spokesman for HA said today (August 1).
The Authority's Strategic Panning Committee recently endorsed the clearance of the 36-year-old Block 12 of KSE, on consideration of the building's structural conditions and financial implications for extensive repair works. The site will be used for public housing development.
At a joint meeting of the Authority's Commercial Properties Committee and Subsidised Housing Committee today, members approved rehousing arrangements for the 197 affected households and the sole commercial tenant according to their individual eligibility.
A great majority of the households will be offered PRH (Public Rental Housing) flats, subject to their fulfillment of the applicable eligibility criteria. Households not eligible for PRH allocation will be rehoused in other IH flats.
Members at the meeting however agreed that deserving households with special grounds and justifications, including recommendations by the Social Welfare Department, may be considered on their individual merits for rehousing in PRH flats.
All affected households will also be granted Domestic Removal Allowance, ranging from $2,907 for a one-person household to $10,276 for a household of six persons and over.
"One-person and two-person households may opt to receive a Singleton/Doubleton Allowance of $37,330 and $48,310 respectively in lieu of rehousing in a PRH flat," the spokesman said.
In line with established policy, a non-accountable ex-gratia allowance of $2,500 will be offered to households affected by the HA's clearance and moving to PRH flats not provided with a metal gateset at the flat entrance.
Households who are eligible for PRH will also be accorded Green Form status and priority in the upcoming phases of the sale of surplus Home Ownership Scheme flats.
"To help the needy elderly households in their removal, we will work closely with the local voluntary agencies to provide them with the necessary support and social services during the removal period," the spokesman said.
The only commercial tenant in the KSE IH block will be offered an ex-gratia allowance and opportunity to participate in the HA's tender exercise for letting of retail premises.
"The rehousing and associated arrangements for the affected households and shop tenant are on par with those adopted for other estate clearance projects," the spokesman said.
The former PRH block in KSE was converted into IH in 1995 to cope with the then acute shortage of temporary housing spaces in meeting the rehousing needs of clearees not eligible for PRH. The 824-unit block has had a high vacancy rate in recent years, standing at 76% currently.
"After clearance of the KSE IH, the IHs at Shek Lei (II) Estate in Kwai Chung and Long Bin in Yuen Long, with a total provision of 2,768 units, should be able to meet adequately the IH demand,"the spokesman said.
Ends/Friday, August 1, 2008
Issued at HKT 13:46