The following is issued on behalf of the Housing Authority:
The Housing Authority announced today (Thursday) the redevelopment of North Point Estate by early 2002. This is in line with the Long Term Housing Strategy (LTHS) published in 1998 on the redevelopment of older housing estates on a need basis.
Suitable and sufficient rental housing units will be available to the affected tenants. Those who wish to continue renting Housing Authority accommodation will be rehoused to new units in Oi Tung Estate at Aldrich Bay (Phases 1 & 3) and Hing Wah Estate Phase 1.
Priority over and above tenants affected by other redevelopment projects will be awarded to those opting for assisted home purchase. They will be given top priority in the purchase of Aldrich Garden, a Private Sector Participation Scheme development to be offered for sale in April 2000, as well as first priority in other sales flats. A mortgage subsidy totalling $162,000 over six years will also be given to eligible families.
Commercial tenants will be granted an ex-gratia allowance equivalent to 15 months net rent plus the opportunity to secure other shopstall premises of the Authority through restricted tender with three months' rent free, or a lump sum of $73,000 in lieu.
A spokesman for the Authority noted that the North Point Estate Redevelopment, which was approved by the Authority's Strategic Planning Committee today, is outside the Authority's Comprehensive Redevelopment Programme (CRP). Under the CRP, 566 housing blocks in 57 estates will be redeveloped by 2005.
The spokesman noted that Oi Tung and Hing Wah Estates are the only reception estates in Eastern District on Hong Kong Island available in the coming years. "The announcement of the redevelopment of North Point Estate has to be made to tie in with the completion of the reception estates.กจ
Completed in 1957, North Point Estate is a relatively low-rise development. However, maintenance costs have become increasingly expensive now that most of the blocks are at least 43 years old, the spokesman remarked.
The existing estate comprises 1,956 flats in seven blocks. Redevelopment to a modern standard would yield approximately 2,600 new flats in a very attractive environment including modern commercial and other facilities.
"While such a redevelopment would be perfectly viable, the Authority believes that a wider redevelopment, incorporating adjacent sites, such as the existing bus terminus, would facilitate restructuring of the area," the spokesman suggested.
"The Authority believes that such a development has the potential for a much greater community gain than a normal redevelopment in terms not only of additional housing units, but also more efficient use of land, better integration of transportation and commercial facilities, and the provision of new district facilities."
The spokesman added that this wider approach to redevelopment has the support in principle of other Government bureaux and departments, and a preliminary examination suggests that, other new facilities aside and subject to resolving various technical issues, it would yield many more new units of modern housing than the number in the existing estate.
"The Housing Department is currently exploring the feasibility of such a wider redevelopment option. It will discuss with concerned bureaux and departments and resolve any technical details before proposing a comprehensive scheme, including private sector involvement where appropriate," the spokesman said.
In the event that such a scheme ultimately proves impractical, or infeasible, he said the Authority would proceed to redevelop its own site in the normal manner, with demolition tentatively scheduled for early 2002 and construction commencing in early 2003.
End/Thursday, March 2, 2000