The following is issued on behalf of the Hong Kong Housing Authority:
The Secretary for Transport and Housing, Ms Eva Cheng, was briefed on the Life-cycle Maintenance programme for public rental housing estates, a revitalisation project for Ping Shek Estate, special design features of Choi Ying Estate and public rental housing developments at Choi Wan Road during a visit today (March 13).
Accompanied by Housing Authority (HA) Members, Mr Chan Kam-lam and Dr Andrew Chan Ping-chiu, and the Permanent Secretary for Transport and Housing (Housing), Mr Thomas Chan, Ms Cheng paid a visit first to the locations identified for constructing additional lifts and a covered walkway in Ping Shek Estate.
According to results of a comprehensive structurual investigation released at the end of last year, all the seven 40-year old building blocks of Ping Shek Estate are structurally safe. However, because of ageing problem and corrosion, structural repair and improvement works will be carried out to enhance its sustainability.
Ping Shek Estate has a population of more than 12,000. Among them, 4,300 or about 35 % are over 60 years old. The HA has piloted a revitalisation project in the estate. It aims to rejuvenate the estate and keep it in pace with modern development by exploring cost-effective and people-oriented estate improvement works, taking into account problems posed by the ageing community, needs of the elderly as well as the historical background and characteristics of the estate.
The Life-cycle Maintenance programme to be implemented in all public housing estates by batches emphasises early preventive maintenance with regular in-flat inspection/repair programmes and enhanced responsive in-flat maintenance services, and will synchronise maintenance and improvement programmes to minimise the inconvenience caused to tenants. The HA will also draw on the experience of the Ping Shek revitalisation project to look into its estate improvement programmes from a new perspective, with a view to providing a pleasant living environment and strengthening the community bond of its aging estates.
Ms Cheng also visited an elderly household and a youth activity centre of the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups in the estate. She also took the opportunity to meet with representatives of Estate Management Advisory Committees from Ping Shek Estate and Choi Wan (I) Estate to understand their views on local affairs and to exchange on how best to build a coherent network in the community hand-in-hand with district non-governmental organisations.
The group then visited the newly-completed Choi Ying Estate near Ping Shek Estate. The design of the estate has taken several factors into consideration, such as the ridgeline of the hills in East Kowloon, microclimate of the area, greening and preservation of the indigenous rocks.
The group was also briefed on the progress of the public rental housing developments at Choi Wan Road. Together with Choi Ying Estate, the developments would provide 17 domestic blocks for a population of 35,000 people by 2011. Extensive greening will be put in place for the site located on three major platforms formed on an old quarry. The areas will be well-connected by footbridges, lift towers, tunnels and covered walkways. There is also a footbridge linking Choi Ying Estate with Kowloon Bay MTR Station.
Ends/Friday, March 13, 2009
Issued at HKT 19:58