The following is issued by the Housing Authority:
The Housing Authority's (HA) Commercial Properties Committee (CPC) today (January 22) approved a set of arrangements for tenants affected by the clearance of Kwai Chung Factory Estate.
About 700 tenants will be entitled to an ex-gratia allowance, plus a three-month rent-free period in another HA factory, or a cash sum of $6,000 per unit in lieu.
A spokesman for the Authority said that ex-gratia allowances for most tenants ranged from about $75,000 for upper floor units to $138,000 for G/F units. The total cost of ex-gratia allowances and lump sum will be around $142 million.
In November last year, the Authority's Strategic Planning Committee endorsed plans to redevelop Kwai Chung factory site as residential housing, providing 2,000 rental flats for 6,400 people in 2005/06.
Kwai Chung Factory Estate comprises four 7-storey blocks built between 1966 and 1973. The majority of tenants pay a monthly rental ranging from $21 to $56 per sq. metre.
Tenants will be given 18 months' notice of clearance by the end of this month and rent increases will be frozen with immediate effect.
Meanwhile, CPC members today also considered the future of 300 kiosk-type or shop-type cooked food stalls operating in 38 public housing estates and endorsed phased action to convert, replace or remove existing structures.
Members noted long-standing management problems including obstruction and nuisance caused by these stalls. The Authority spokesman believed that the phasing out of problematic cooked food stalls would improve the living and business environment of these estates and be supported by public housing tenants.
Action to phase out cooked food stalls will come in two stages. Initially, all cooked food stall tenants will be given the option to surrender their tenancies voluntarily within six months and receive an ex-gratia allowance equivalent to 10 months' rent, plus a cash sum of $50,000.
Following the thinning out exercise, feasibility studies will be conducted on the proposals for individual estates, the Authority spokesman said, adding that the programme is expected to last for 5 to 10 years. He stressed that consultations would be undertaken to find the most satisfactory solution in each estate.
In a further move, CPC members also agreed to a property damage self-insurance programme for HA non-domestic premises. Tenants of HA shops will no longer be required to take out insurance coverage at their own expense. The new policy is expected to come into force within a few months.
End/Monday, January 22, 2001