Public housing for the elderly turns a new page today (Saturday) as the Chief Executive, Mr Tung Chee Hwa, opened a new style Housing for Senior Citizens (HSC) in Ping Tin Estate.
The new design, which promotes a homely and comfortable environment in hostel-type housing, is part of the Housing Authority's efforts to improve the quality of housing for the elderly.
The Authority's Chairman, Dr the Honourable Rosanna Wong, said at the opening ceremony that the Authority has all along been concerned with the provision of housing for the elderly. So far, four priority schemes have been implemented providing homes for more than 35,000 old people.
"Looking ahead, our primary goal is to provide adequate rental housing suitable for the elderly. Between 1997/98 and 2001/02, housing supply for the elderly will be increased with the provision of 30,000 one-person units from new production and conversion of existing stock," Dr Wong said.
"We believe that the average waiting time for the elderly will be reduced to two years within a decade."
Centrally located at the Ancillary Facility Block at Ping Tin Estate, the newly-opened HSC provides almost 200 hostel-type accommodation for single elderly people aged over 60.
One special feature of the HSC is its architectural design which adopts an inward looking internal layout. All living units, with sizes ranging from 9.78 - 14.05 sq meters, face a series of landscaped courtyards while kitchens, toilets and staircases are located at the periphery to act as noise barriers.
Apart from privacy, elderly people may also relax in a homely atmosphere and enjoy the use of the common facilities in the HSC which include common living/dining rooms, activity rooms and solarium. Interior decoration of the hostel is designed to create a home-like environment with a careful selection of home furniture and lighting.
Safety is also emphasized in the hostel design. Apart from warden services, tenants are given individual wireless pendant alarms while emergency push button alarms are available at public areas.
So far, 155 tenants have completed intake procedures. "This design pioneers the future development of home style public housing for the elderly," Dr Wong added.
Today's opening ceremony was also attended by the Secretary for Housing, Mr Dominic Wong, the Acting Director of Housing, Mr Marco Wu, and the Deputy Director of Housing/Works, Mr Stephen Poon.
End/Saturday, May 9, 1998